Perinatal Mental Health: Huggies Launches First-Ever 24/7 Free Text Support Service


Coinciding with Parents Mental Health Day on 27th January 2022, Huggies has developed the first-ever free 24/7 text support service for families struggling with perinatal mental illness, partnering with mental health support charity PANDAS.

Perinatal – the time during pregnancy and after birth, encompassing both prenatal and postnatalmental health has been detrimentally impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, from cancellations to prenatal courses and adjustments to birth plans to social isolation and loneliness during the perinatal period.

The impact has been directly seen by the PANDAS charity who, in 2021, provided support for over 10,000 parents through their free helpline and email support service, the highest number on record, predicted to increase even further in 2022.


As part of its purpose to help parents across the UK navigate the unknowns of babyhood, Huggies is working with PANDAS to launch a free, accessible, 24/7, confidential text support service for any parent or carer struggling to cope.

Parents, carers and their networks will be able to seek support from trained professionals at any time.

Launching on the 24th January 2022, the service will instantly connect parents or carers to a trained volunteer by texting the word ‘PANDAS’ to 85258. The text service seeks to provide solutions for anyone feeling anxious, stressed, lonely, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed.

Stephanie Madrell, Marketing Manager at Huggies, said: “We know parenting is hard, there is no manual and we want to support families through their journey, and working with PANDAS to launch their new text service will enable us to do that.”

Credit: Unsplash

Sally Bunkham, Communications and Development Manager at PANDAS, added: “We are delighted to be able to launch this service, and know it will help so many.

“Parents and carers often need support and advice at unsociable hours like the middle of the night, so a service like this has the potential to be incredibly well utilised.”

Users can text the word ‘PANDAS’ to 85258 and they will then receive four automated messages before being connected to a trained volunteer.

Once connected, the volunteer will listen to anything that is troubling the user, providing support and signposting to services where appropriate. The service is free, anonymous and doesn’t appear on phone bills; users don’t need to register, download an app or use mobile data.

From Monday 24 January 2022, by texting the word ‘PANDAS’ to 85258, parents will be able to use the confidential service, which is free and instant.

The new service will run alongside The PANDAS Foundation’s support services, which include a free helpline open between 11am – 10pm daily on 0808 1961 776, email support service and peer to peer support groups (digital and face to face).

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