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Highland based charity expands mental health support with new WhatsApp text service

By Niall Harkiss

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Mikeysline has expanded its reach by introducing a new WhatsApp support service.
Mikeysline has expanded its reach by introducing a new WhatsApp support service.

A Highland based mental health charity has expanded its nationwide reach by introducing a new WhatsApp support service.

Mikeysline has added the new service to complement its existing SMS, Messenger, webchat and Twitter text-based support.

The charity provides face-to-face and text-based support in the Highlands and Moray to anyone living in emotional distress or with mental health issues, and is committed to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide prevention.

Mikeysline chief executive Emily Stokes said: “We are delighted to now be offering support to those who need it via WhatsApp, in addition to our other text-based and face-to-face support services.

“As the world’s most used messaging app, utilising the power of WhatsApp is an important step for us to be able to reach more people who require mental health support across the Highlands and Moray.

“Over the last two years, we have seen a threefold increase in the use of our text-based services, and expect this to rise further with the inclusion of WhatsApp. This gives users the flexibility to contact us for help in the way that is most suitable for them.

“It’s important to us that everyone who feels they are struggling knows that it’s ok not to be ok, and that help is easily accessible in a variety of forms.”

The inclusion of WhatsApp in Mikeysline’s offering has been made possible by grant funding from the Scottish Government’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, managed by Highland Third Sector Interface. The charity hopes that offering WhatsApp support will open up its services to a new audience - allowing them to assist more people than ever before.

Emily Stokes continued: “We are continuously recruiting and training new volunteers to provide support via our text-based services, and are always keen to hear from people who would like to donate their time. In these difficult and demanding times, it’s important to spread the message that help is available for those who need it.”

Since 2015, Mikeysline has offered confidential, non-judgemental support to people of all ages with mental health issues or in emotional distress in the Highlands and Moray via a text line service at 07786 207755, WhatsApp at 01463 729000, and live chat, Twitter and Messenger via its website. The charity also produces a popular podcast, Speaking of Suicide, and offers face-to-face support from three Hives across the area – at its Inverness headquarters; at Tesco in Tain; and at Am Bothan Community Café by Skiach, Evanton.

Users can access the service by messaging 01463 729000 in WhatsApp or via the link on our website homepage at www.mikeysline.co.uk between 6pm–10pm Sunday to Thursday, and 7pm–7am Friday to Saturday.

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