18 June 2021

Text message support for children and young people

Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text message support service for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope.

The service is staffed by trained volunteers who will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better. We can help with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression and are here to talk at any time of day or night. Young people under the age of 18 can Text GREEN to 85258, and over 18s can text HEAL for immediate support.

How does Shout 85258 work?

Shout’s trained volunteers are there for you 24/7 to listen and support you to get to a calmer and safer place. Shout is a free, confidential, anonymous service for anyone in the UK. It won’t appear on your phone bill.

To start a conversation with someone from Alder Hey, text the word  GREEN  to 85258 if you’re under 18, text HEAL if you’re over 18.

If your life is at imminent risk, call the emergency services on 999.

What happens when you use the service?


To start a conversation, text the word  [GREEN or TEAL]  to 85258. If you’re feeling low, anxious, worried, lonely, overwhelmed, suicidal or not quite yourself, we are here for you.


Once you text us you’ll receive four automated messages before you are connected to one of our empathetic Shout Volunteers. This will usually be within five minutes, but if we are busy it can take longer.


The volunteer will introduce themselves and ask you to share a bit more about what’s bothering you. This might include feeling anxious, having relationship problems, addiction, depression, bullying, self-harm and suicide. You will text back and forth and share what you feel comfortable with.


The goal of the conversation is to help you reach a calm and safe place, with a plan of how to support yourself going forwards. As well as listening without judgement, our volunteers may provide you with further resources or tools to help you get more expert support.


Your conversation will only end when the volunteer is sure you are in a safe and calm place. Conversations tend to last around 40 minutes.

We’re here for you 24/7.

Shout 85258 can help with issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Relationships
  • Self-harm
  • Stress
  • Suicidal thoughts or feelings
  • Worry

Important information: what mobile networks can you text Shout 85258 from?

You can text shout free and anonymously from all major UK networks. It is free and confidential to text our service from the following major networks: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. These include – BT Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, iD Mobile, Sky, Telecom Plus, Lebara and GiffGaff.

If you are contacting us from a network listed above, and the service does not appear to be working for you, please reply with your mobile phone number and network provider at info@giveusashout.org. We need this information to be able to investigate the circumstances.

Some Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy handset, issue a warning that you will be charged for texting us. Provided you are on one of the networks listed here, this warning is incorrect and you will not be charged.

If you text us from a network that is not on this list there is a possibility that you may be charged for the messages and that they may appear on your bill. This applies to a very small minority of operators. If your mobile network is not listed here, please check with your mobile network operator directly.

It is not possible to text the service from some networks, which do not provide the capability to message shortcodes. These include Lyca mobile. If your message will not send, or if you do not receive an automated message in response, it is an indicator that the service is not working. This is because some networks do not provide the capability to message shortcodes. You can find alternate ways to get support via headstogether.org.uk/get-support.

Other answers to common FAQs about Shout can be found at: giveusashout.org/faq.