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What is reflect?

Reflect is a free, confidential and 24/7 text support service for anyone in the UK who needs advice or help. This has replaced the service previously provided by Kooth. It is delivered by trained volunteers and clinicians who are available around the clock to listen and support anyone who is feeling anxious, lonely, overwhelmed or not quite themselves. It is part of the wider network of Shout services across the UK.


How does reflect work?

To start a conversation, anyone can text (please don’t WhatsApp!) the word reflect (upper or lower case) to 85258. The service is free, anonymous and does not show up on phone bills.


After sending the first message, texters receive four automated text messages before being

connected to a trained volunteer. There is an aim to connect young people in greatest need within five minutes all others within 30 minutes. At busy times it can take longer.


By text message, the volunteer will introduce themselves and ask the texter to share a bit more about how they are feeling. They will only need to share what they feel comfortable sharing – the volunteer will listen without judgement. Conversations tend to last up to one hour.


Will I be charged to use reflect?

No. It is free to text from all major UK networks: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. These also include BT Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, iD Mobile, Sky, Telecom Plus, Lebara and GiffGaff.


Some Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy, may issue a warning that you will be charged for sending a message. Provided you are on one of the networks listed above, this warning is incorrect, and you will not be charged.


Why use reflect?

The goal of a conversation through reflect is to help texters reach a place of calm, with a plan of how to support themselves going forwards. As well as listening, volunteers may provide further resources or tools to help the texter access further expert support. The conversation will only end when the volunteer is sure the texter is calm and feeling better.


Reflect can help with issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Loneliness or isolation
  • Money worries
  • Relationship problems
  • Self-harm
  • Stress
  • Suicidal thoughts or feelings


Who is reflect for?

The service is focused on supporting young people aged 11-25. However, there is no age limit on who can use reflect across Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

How many times can I use reflect?

Reflect is a universal service and is open to all. The service can be used when feeling anxious, lonely, overwhelmed or if someone is not quite themselves. It is available 24/7.

However, the reflect service is not designed to offer long-term support. If someone does use reflect very frequently, the service will be in touch to manage the access of texters and highlight how they can receive more appropriate help. Please see below for details of a range of services for children & young people in Central Bedfordshire.

Is the reflect service safe?

There are a number of things in place to ensure the service is safe:


-       Volunteers receive extensive training and their practice is overseen by a clinician

-       Conversations where there is an indication of a higher risk are overseen by clinicians 

-       Where there are immediate concerns about risks to texter in their conversation, the service can also alert the emergency services in the local area.

Other Details

Age Bands
18-25 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old