Samaritans doesn't have a text number anymore

17 August 2021
What was claimed

You can text a crisis counsellor from Samaritans.

Our verdict

This is no longer true. The charity does not have a text number, but can be contacted by phone, email and letter. Mental health support by text can be accessed using the SHOUT text service.

A post on Facebook which has been shared more than 20,000 times claims that anyone who is feeling depressed or suicidal can text a number and receive a response from a crisis counsellor connected to Samaritans. 

This information is out of date and no longer correct. 

Samaritans confirmed to Full Fact that the text number shared in the Facebook post was the text number previously used by the charity, but said it was “historic” and does not work now.  Samaritans advised against using the phone number.

Although Samaritans did previously have a text service, this ended in February 2020. The Facebook post was originally shared in August 2019, before the text service was retired, but has been shared again recently. 

People who do want to speak to Samaritans can call 116 123 for free any time of the day or night, even on a number without credit, and it will not show up on your phone bill. 

Samaritans can also be contacted by email on jo@samaritans.org, by letter or by visiting www.samaritans.org

People who prefer to text can access support from SHOUT on 85258. 

Update 18 August 2021

This story was updated to include the text number of SHOUT.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as missing context because this number does not connect to Samaritans any more.

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