Street Talk: Newcastle’s new mental health helpline

The helpline is completely free, confidential and independent of Newcastle’s universities

A new free and completely anonymous mental health helpline has been established in Newcastle.

The Street Talk team is made up of over 70 volunteers who have undergone special training to ensure that they can help you the best way they can, all whilst promising confidentiality. The helpline is completely independent of either university.

The helpline was set up as suicide rates rocketed at the start of term to the point where at least one student was losing their life every week. Many students believe that young people’s mental health has been neglected and Street Talk has been set up to help tackle this crisis.

Street Talk’s founder, Oscar Slacke, told The Newcastle Tab: “We are here to support everyone from those who just fancy a chat to those who need more urgent help. No phone call is too pressing or too insignificant – you will always be answered by a friendly voice. If needed, we can also refer callers to professional help, so we can be there as a stepping stone for more specialised support.”

One of Street Talk’s volunteers added: “There is a stigma around looking after your mental health and asking for help. The idea of calling a helpline is often shut down by thinking, ‘I’m not bad enough for that’, or ‘I’m not actually depressed’, and this needs to change. You do not have to be at your rock bottom to call. 

“If you hurt your leg you would go for help, so why wouldn’t you do the same when the damage is to your mental health?”

Reaching out can be daunting sometimes, but no calls are recorded and your phone number will not be visible, so you can talk freely and in full confidentiality.

The helpline is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 6pm-12am. Hours are however likely to be extended, so check their Instagram bio for the most up-to-date opening times.

Street Talk are available on 0333 242 3957, and general advice is also available on their Instagram page.

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