Worried? Stressed? Anxious? If you ever need to talk, you can text 'HeadsUp' to 85258 and be connected with a trained Crisis Volunteer, for a fully free and confidential conversation.


Often, speaking out about your mental health is easier said than done. You might not know who to trust, you might be feeling frightened about the thought of opening up, or you just might not know how to find the words.

If someone wants to talk but doesn’t know where to turn, they can text ‘HEADSUP’ to 85258 and be put in touch with a trained Crisis Volunteer who will chat to them anonymously using trained techniques via text. The service is run by Shout 85258, a free, 24/7 crisis text service.

Ahead of the Heads Up FA Cup Final, we spoke to two Shout volunteers and football fans, Lisa and Michael, about why they volunteer in mental health, and how they would help people reach out for support. You can read the full feature in the Heads Up FA Cup Final matchday programme, available to download for free.

Download the matchday programme here

Shout’s tips for how to support others

Ask. Don’t be worried you’ll make things worse just by asking someone how their mental health is. Asking someone directly about their depression, anxiety, loss, or any other challenge they’re coping with will help them feel like they don’t have to face it alone. Just by asking you’re supporting.

Connect vs fix. We tend to think that when someone shares a problem with us, we need to fix it and come up with solutions for the person. Take the pressure off. Instead, just listen, validate, and be there with the person through the difficult time. By bearing witness to their pain, you are helping.

How and where to get support yourself through Shout 85258

If you or anyone you know needs support, free text service Shout 85258 is here for you. You can text the word HEADSUP to 85258 anytime, confidentially and anonymously, for free. You’ll be connected to a trained volunteer who can help you navigate getting through your current issue (or supporting a loved one through theirs) and make a plan to get longer term support if needed.

Get support now

"Reach out to someone. You can do it – it’s just taking that first step. It can be hard to speak out loud so writing thoughts down on paper can be easier and it will clear your head. Grabbing a quiet hug can work wonders, no words needed – just having that emotional and physical support helps."

Lisa Jackson, Chelsea fan and Shout volunteer

"There’s nothing new under the sun in mental health. People see it as a form of weakness, they want to be perfect, but I often say, ‘what’s perfect?’. We’re all a little bit broken and it’s fine to be broken. It doesn’t stop anyone being brilliant – it’s what makes us all brilliant."

Michael Volpe, Chelsea fan and Shout volunteer