The Diocese of London has partnered with the mental health text support service Shout 85258, to help support those experiencing mental health challenges across the city.
The Bishop of London, Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally, has formally launched 'Neighbour' as a new Diocese of London 'keyword' that people in the capital can use to message Shout when they need mental health support:
"People within the Diocese of London can now be connected to one of Shout's trained volunteers by texting the word neighbour at 85258. And you can text any time of the day or in the night and you'll be connected to a trained Shout volunteer who will chat with you by text. And they'll listen to you. And they're really to help us think more clearly, enabling us to know what steps we could now take next to feeling better, it's a confidential service. It can be used free on most mobile phone networks. So really good news.
"We know that the last year has been a difficult year that most of us at some point would have felt that our mental wellbeing has been challenged. And therefore, this is an opportunity to partner with another organisation to try and support people at what is a difficult time with mental health concerns or issues," Bishop Sarah told Premier.
"It would be great if people could pray for the service. Pray that people will spot it and also pray that people will have courage to use it. Because the first step in seeking help for your mental wellbeing is to ask for help. So I think for churches to pray that the texting service will be accessible to people, that people will be brave enough to take that first step to text the word neighbour," she added.
While Shout is for anyone, to date 65% of those who have text Shout 85258 are aged under 25 and 7% are aged 13 or under.
Those using the service can remain anonymous and the text won't show up on your phone bill.
Listen to Premier's interview with the bishop here: