Automotive charity Ben has launched a new text service to ensure people in a crisis can access free and confidential help.
The free and anonymous text service offers support outside of Ben’s helpline hours (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm), in partnership with Shout.
The charity said texting ‘BEN’ to 85258 will connect individuals who require support with a trained professional, where they can chat over text about what is troubling them.
Rachel Clift, health and wellbeing director at Ben, said: “The fact that people can now contact us and receive support at any time, day or night, means that we can offer potentially life-saving support to our automotive family who may be struggling or in crisis.
“Sometimes people prefer to text rather than speak on the phone, it can be easier to share how we truly feel, to chat discretely if there are others in earshot, or to talk about things that are causing us shame or embarrassment over text rather than having to say them out loud.
“Our existing webchat during the day and now a dedicated out of hours text support service gives our community another way of accessing vital help and may make a crucial difference to someone who is thinking of harming themselves or taking more drastic action in a time of crisis.
“We want people to know that we are here, any time, for a judgment-free, confidential chat.”
Ben said it regularly sees an increase in demand for support in the winter months and has launched the service ahead of ‘Blue Monday’ on January 16.
Clift added: “We are delighted to be launching our text service in advance of Blue Monday as we know this will be a hugely valuable new resource for people who need our help.”
Last year, 15 industry leaders scaled Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the charity.
Find out more about Ben’s text service.