Young Epilepsy launches Shout text service for young people in distress

National charity, Young Epilepsy, has launched a text service specifically aimed at young people living with epilepsy that are in distress.

With a simple text message quoting the word ‘purple’ users across the UK can access help and support from Shout’s trained volunteers at any time.

Shout is a free, confidential and 24/7 text support service for anyone in the UK who is struggling with their mental health. Their trained volunteers are available around the clock to listen and support anyone who is suicidal, depressed, anxious or overwhelmed. The service is anonymous and does not show up on phone bills.

Young Epilepsy has partnered with Shout to offer support to young people living with epilepsy. To start a conversation, text ‘purple’ to 85258. If life is at imminent risk, call the emergency services on 999.

During Mental Health Awareness Week, it is more important than ever to shine a spotlight on the link between epilepsy and mental health challenges in young people.

Living with epilepsy can leave children and young people feeling frightened, anxious, and isolated. The unpredictable nature of seizures and the impact of the condition on almost every aspect of life cannot be underestimated and for many this can have a detrimental effect on their mental health.

A survey carried out by Young Epilepsy shows that 77% of young people say that living with epilepsy has had a significant impact on their mental health.

52% of those surveyed admitted that they find it hard to talk about how living with epilepsy makes them feel.

With a significant shift in the way mental health is viewed in recent years, there is still much to be done in society to recognise the added pressure living with a long-term condition such as epilepsy has on a young person’s mental health.

Young people living with epilepsy that are feeling anxious, lonely, overwhelmed or suicidal are invited to start a conversation, by texting (not WhatsApp) the word ‘purple’ to 85258. It is free to text Shout from all major UK networks.

After sending the first message, they will receive four automated text messages before being connected to a trained volunteer. By text message, the volunteer will introduce themselves and ask the user what they feel comfortable sharing – the volunteer will listen without judgement.

The goal of the text conversation is to help users reach a place of calm, with a plan of how to support themselves going forward. As well as listening, Shout volunteers may provide further resources or signpost tools for expert support. The conversation will only end when the volunteer is sure the user is calm and feeling better.

For more information about our Shout service, click here