Reach Out online chat service

Chat to us online! 


Are you or someone you love finding things tough right now? If so, our Reach Out online chat service could help. Chat to a friendly member of our team and get ideas for help and support.

Our team is online to offer you free, confidential advice on a range of issues – from drug and alcohol issues and mental health challenges to housing problems and benefit concerns – whether you are calling for yourself or to support a friend or relative. If we don’t know the answer ourselves, we will be able to signpost you to somebody who will.

Our online chat service is currently available between 9am and 3pm Monday-Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).

If you need help outside these hours, you can call our free 24-hour helpline: 0300 1240 440. Please note, this number isn’t a replacement for the emergency services, so if you are in an urgent situation, such as a suspected overdose, call 999.

We are here for you, to provide connection and encouragement, but we are not a crisis line. The Samaritans number can be found below.

Here are the answers to some questions you might have about our online chat service.



Everything you tell our online team is confidential. We won’t share it with anyone else.


The only time this might change is if we have serious concerns about your own or someone else’s safety.

See more about how we protect your privacy.

To make sure your chat stays private, it’s best to use your own phone or computer rather than a shared one. If you don’t have your own phone or computer, you can use private browsing.

Our online chat is for people visiting our website looking for information, advice or support about a range of issues – from drug and alcohol issues and mental health challenges to housing problems and benefit concerns – whether you are calling for yourself or to support a friend or relative. This includes:
• East Kent community clients (new and existing)
• Housing clients
• Recovery support clients
• Forward clients who are prison leavers
• Friends or relatives of our clients

We can’t:
• Make or change appointments
• Get you a script

You’ll need to contact your local service directly to do this. In order to do this, please visit the website of your local authority or council and search for the service you are looking for e.g. ‘drug and alcohol’.

We also can’t give you any information about another client, or confirm whether or not we’re working with someone. This is due to data protection and client confidentiality legislation.

All our online advisors are either staff or volunteers of The Forward Trust. They have been trained to provide you with support and advice on a range of issues.

We’re currently online from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).

If you need help outside this time, you can call our free helpline on 0300 1240 440. Please note, this number isn’t a replacement for the emergency services, so if you are in an urgent situation, such as a suspected overdose, please call 999.

If you need to speak to someone on the phone, you can call one of our three telephone lines:

• If you live in East Kent and are concerned about your own or someone else’s drug and alcohol use, please call our free, 24 hour phoneline on 0300 123 1186
• If you live anywhere else in the UK and are concerned about either drug and alcohol use (your own or someone else’s) or are having housing issues, please call our free, nation-wide, 24 hour phoneline on: 0300 1240 440

If you have non-emergency health concerns, you can contact:
• NHS 111 for non-emergency medical advice.
• A local pharmacy can also provide a range of non-emergency advice.

If you’re worried about your mental health, you can contact:
• Mind – mental health support
• Calm – depression support for men

If you're struggling to cope, you can contact:
• Samaritans – support for anyone who's having a difficult time. Call free on 116 123 any time or email jo@samaritans.org.