Sometimes when you’re having a hard time, you might not feel like talking to someone you know.
While it’s always really good to reach out to a parent, guardian or friend when you’re sad, sometimes anonymous support is exactly what we need.
A new mental health text service has been launched by the HSE to help those who need it most.
50808 is a a free 24/7 text service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis.
The service uses an artificial intelligence system to analyse a texter’s initial message, scanning keywords, phrases, and even emojis to determine the level of severity of the message. The texter’s at most imminent risk are placed at the top of the queue.
It started in September of last year and they are hoping to help 50,000 people a year in Ireland.
The top issues discussed from texters since it’s launch were, anxiety/stress (40%), depression/sadness (32%), relationships (29%), isolation/loneliness (23%) and Suicide (18%).
Most of those reaching out were female (65%) while 24% were male, 2% were transgender and 2% were non-binary. All ages texted in too, with most people being between 16 and 34.
There are lots of different reasons you may like texting in about, and if you’re stressed, worried or sad, this number is there to help.
So far people have texted in for the following reasons:
- Didn’t have anyone else to talk to (50%)
- Wanted to talk to someone who didn’t know me (48%),
- More comfortable texting than talking (40%),
- Too embarrassed to talk on the phone or in person (31%),
- Didn’t have access to a therapist (31%)
So if you’re feeling down and like you have no one to talk to, know that you’re not alone.
50808 is a free 24/7 service so you can text them at any time.