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Reach Out online chat

Get support from us online!

If you’re finding things tough right now, our Reach Out online chat service can help. Our friendly team is here to offer support and someone to talk to.

Our team provides free, confidential advice on a range of issues, including drug or alcohol worries and mental health – whether they affect you directly or a friend or relative. And if we don’t have the answers to all of your questions, 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).

Please note: Reach Out is not a crisis service. If you are in an urgent situation or emergency, such as a suspected overdose, call 999.

If you are in crisis, contact the Samaritans.

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

Who is it for?

Our online chat is for adults 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 current and former Forward clients as well people who haven’t used our services before. Please note: we can’t provide advice if you are aged under-16.

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.

Is it confidential?

Everything you tell us 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.

Find out more about how we protect your privacy.

How do I make sure my chat is private?

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.

Who will I be chatting to?

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.

When are you available?

We’re currently online from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). If you try to contact us outside of these hours, you can leave a message and we’ll get back to you the next time we’re online.

If you need to speak to someone outside this time, contact the Samaritans.

If you are in an urgent situation, such as a suspected overdose, call 999.

Where else can I get help?

If you live in East Kent and are concerned about your own or someone else’s drug and alcohol use, you can call our free 24-hour helpline: 0300 123 1186

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
  • Childline – support for children and young people aged under 19. Call free on 0800 1111
Other sources of help

Get help from other organisations

If you can’t reach us today, here are some other places you could find help.

Find other organisations

Honestly I cannot thank you enough, I feel so much better just talking this out with you today

Reach Out client