Functionality

Text BABYBUDDY to 85258 from anywhere in the United Kingdom or tap the TEXT NOW​ icon in Baby Buddy app or here.

Crisis Messenger texting process (powered by Shout):

1. You can text about whatever is a crisis to you - anxiety, panic attacks, violence, depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and suicide.   

2. The volunteer Crisis Counsellor listens without judgement, invites you to share more, and helps you move from a hot moment to a cool calm. You’ll text back and forth, sharing only what you feel comfortable.

3. The first automated text replies are 4 quick fire messages "Welcome to Crisis Text Line"; "Link to Privacy Policy"; "If you keep texting we will record your data"; "To stop messaging text: STOP and to delete all history text: LOOFA”.

4. After some automated responses with information covering consent and data retention, you'll connect with a live, trained volunteer Crisis Counsellor who receives the text on their computer.

5. The goal of the conversation is to help you find calm. This may mean sharing resources that offer more help; sometimes it means listening. The purpose of the text line is to take people from a high risk to a low risk situation and to signpost longer term support, as necessary.

6. It usually takes less than 5 minutes to connect you with a Crisis Counsellor, but may be longer during busy times.

7. Conversations usually end when you and the Crisis Counsellor feel comfortable that you’re in a “cool,” safe place, after 15 - 45 minutes.

Security

The details of our security arrangements are not publicly shared. However, a full Cyber Security Review of all activities and systems are made by ECSC, an independent firm of experts which works according the National Cyber Security Centre guidelines.

Clinical safety

Every conversation handled by Crisis Counsellor volunteers is supervised by a paid member of our Clinical Team. All of our Clinical Supervisors are highly qualified, experienced counsellors, psychotherapists and counselling psychologists. They are all registered members of an appropriate professional body UKCP or BACP.

As and when necessary, a clinician may seamlessly "take over" the text conversation from a councellor.

Rarely, and only when someone's life is at risk, support is sought from relevant emergency services.

Volunteer as a Crisis Counsellor

As a Crisis Counsellor, you will have impact on people's lives and make a difference by resolving crises. You will learn communication, problem solving and crisis management skills - recognised by employers, universities and colleges as essential skills. You have the flexibility to volunteer the way you want - you only need access to a computer and secure internet connection. Lastly, you get ongoing access for professional development with a dedicated Coach.

But, being a Crisis Counsellor isn’t for everyone. You need to:
  • Be resilient and mentally robust to help people in distress
  • Commit to 25 hours of online training and then fulfil 200 total hours of volunteering; that’s 2 – 4 hours volunteering per week
  • Have empathy, but be able to be objective
  • Put your own personal views to one side to help the texter
  • Have a secure web connection and a laptop/computer

To learn more and sign up, visit Shout.