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Text message support

Some find text message support easier because it’s quicker than writing an email, arranging a phone call or attending a face-to-face appointment. It is also another way of reaching out to friends and family, particularly if this feels easier to you than having a verbal conversation. Although there are mixed opinions on the impact of social media on our mental health, texting can certainly connect you to people from a distance so that you can let them know what you’re going through, rather than feeling alone with your thoughts. It’s useful to assess how texting makes you feel and only continue using it if you feel it’s helping – for example, there shouldn’t be any pressure to text someone back right away or talk long into the night if you don’t want to, and this can distract from things we need, such as a good amount of sleep.

AFC Crisis Messenger

The AFC Crisis Messenger text service provides free, 24/7 crisis support for young people across the UK.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, you can text AFC to 85258.

Read more about the AFC Crisis Messenger.

There are other charities that provide text support, which you may find more structured or less overwhelming because you will be texting someone with some training on how best to provide it.  Please click on the charity logos below for more information:


Mind text service

SANE textcare

For alternatives to text-message support, please see our Urgent Help page.  

What young people have told us:

'I don't like talking but can text someone who might understand.'

'I struggle with talking to people face to face so texting is much easier and less stressful for me.'

'Texting helps when I don't feel like calling someone or I am not able to meet face-to-face and just want to connect and talk with someone.'

'I think it helps relieve anxiety about being awkward and I feel like it's easier to send a text message to someone.'

'I think texting really helps and I would recommend other young people to try this.'

What young people have told us:

There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.