A former addict-turned professional counsellor is hoping to reach out to people in need – via text.
Tom Huber, of Chevington, believes he has come up with a cost-effective solution for people who need counselling but are not yet ready to embark on that journey.
He says social anxiety, physical disabilities and financial constraints are among the things holding people back.
But the 35-year-old, who already communicates with some of his clients via email and Skype, thinks a text support line could be the answer.
He said: “I would love it if everyone I met was willing to begin counselling because it’s a really life-changing thing and, for me, it’s a real honour to do it, but that’s not always applicable and I want to give people an alternative.”
Mr Huber turned his life around with the help of Bury St Edmunds-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity Focus12.
After cleaning up his act, he obtained a diploma in counselling from West Suffolk College and returned to Focus12 for a placement.
He has now been working as a counsellor for some seven years and believes it is time to expand his business, Tom Huber Counselling Services, to include text help - via a textm8 service.
He said: “I got support at a time in my life when I really needed it and it’s because of that support that I’m in the position to do what I’m doing now. I want to help as many people as I can, and to do that I need to look at a variety of ways of reaching them.”
People using the service will pay £1.50 per text sent - simply text ‘m8’ or ‘mate’ and your message to 82070.
Mr Huber hopes adolescents, in particular, will find the service helpful and says he will aim to respond to all texts within an hour.
For more details, visit textm8.co.uk