Shout 85258

How young Black men were encouraged to seek mental health support with a campaign created by their peers


To drive awareness and increase the number of Black boys and young men, aged 14 – 24, who use the Shout 85258 mental health support textline. This is a demographic who are more likely than other groups to be affected by mental ill health, but are less likely to seek for mental health support.


Shout 85258 is a free and confidential mental health support textline. To use the service, you text the word ‘SHOUT’ (or another targeted word specific to different groups) to 85258 to start a conversation with a trained volunteer, who will text you back and forth. Their volunteers will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better.


We held a series of workshops with diverse groups of young people, including Black men, (through our Create Not Hate programme) to gain insight into what would make them use a textline for mental health support when feeling low. We co-created a distinctive campaign that explores the insight around masking emotions through two different executions. The first is ‘Hide Your Unhappy’ masks. The second execution is a video featuring a conversation between two young men that captures the superficial chat and the unspoken feelings behind it.


With a limited budget we reached over a quarter of a million people delivering over 30k views. On social media 133 people raised their hand that they needed support and clicked through to the website to find out how to get in touch. There were more than 700 direct uses of the keyword LETITOUT which connected young people in need to Shout’s trained mental health volunteers.