How a new text service is supporting people with mental health struggles in South Shields and beyond

A caring couple launched a support service to lend a helping ear to those who are struggling with their mental health.

Text Relief started in South Shields last September after being set up by James Angus and partner Daniel Adams, who had felt there was a void in mental health support locally.

Their service, manned by volunteers and available across the UK, allows people to text a number anonymously when they need someone to talk to.

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James, 31,said he wanted to develop a valuable service to support people on the doorstep.

Daniel Adams, left, and James Angus.Daniel Adams, left, and James Angus.
Daniel Adams, left, and James Angus.

He said: “A lot of people don’t want to go to the GP, some people don’t want the stigma of having to go to a mental hospital or take medication.

“We can help them and guide them.”

Text Relief is also supported by Sally Ingram, whose daughter Jasmin died in October 2018.

She came on board to help the team in her daughter's memory, after feeling like such a service could have saved Jasmin, had it existed at the time.

Will you be supporting the Easter egg appeal?Will you be supporting the Easter egg appeal?
Will you be supporting the Easter egg appeal?
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“You can put the telly on, have a cup of tea and you can speak to someone via your phone,” James explained.

“You can say as much or as little as you want.

In the run-up to Christmas, Text Relief raised money to provide 20 festive dinners, which were donated to those who would otherwise have gone without.

But next, the Text Relief team is looking for the public to support its Easter egg appeal, which will aim to provide needy children across the town with a treat.

And with the seasonal chocolates available to buy in stores now, the organisation is calling for as many donations as possible.

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“You can get an Easter egg for a pound, and it just means that the kids can still have an egg if their parents can’t afford it,” James added.

“We have had lots of support so far from family, friends and people we don’t even know.”

To organise dropping an Easter egg for the appeal, message the Text Relief page on Facebook to find out when and where is best.