Research reveals 1 in 3 young Londoners are put off seeking mental health support due to concerns their problems aren’t big enough


As part of its Stop.Breathe.Think campaign to support young people’s mental health, inner-city youth charity, Snow-Camp, has conducted research revealing that 1 in 3 young Londoners are put off seeking mental health support due to concerns their problems aren’t big enough.

Other reasons why London’s youth is put off seeking mental health support include worries about cost (30%), not knowing where to go to access support (29%) and being scared of being judged (28%). As a result, Snow-Camp has launched a free 24-hour, no wait time, text support service. To access the service, young people can text BREATHE to 85258 and receive real-time advice by trained volunteers.

Whilst delivering its own mental health programme in London, Snow-Camp has seen that mental wellbeing is something that today’s young people are increasingly struggling with, which has been exacerbated by COVID-19. Snow-Camp’s research reveals that the pandemic has made 3 out of 5 young Londoners feel anxious, with over 50% believing lockdown has negatively impacted their mental health.

With help from Shout and JHD Counselling, Snow-Camp has been able to launch a truly unique mental health support service. Unlike other mental health services, the Stop.Breathe.Think initiative has no wait times, is completely free and available 24 hours a day.

Trained volunteers can provide real-time advice to young people seeking mental health support via text and are able to escalate messages to the emergency services if a young person is deemed at imminent risk. Young people can also request and receive free, virtual counselling sessions via the Stop.Breathe.Think website, with a counsellor contacting them within 24 hours. The capital’s young people can also receive follow-up support videos via the Stop.Breathe.Think website.

Young people rarely have the means or confidence to find the support they need. Snow-Camp’s research has found that 1 in 4 young Londoners are still too scared to ask for mental health support, with 50% of the younger generation not seeking support because they feel they’d be a nuisance and wouldn’t want anyone to know they’re accessing help.

Sadly, over half would not turn to parents, family or friends as they would worry about being judged or misunderstood. That’s why the Stop.Breathe.Think service is completely confidential and manned by a team of counsellors who specialise in a variety of youth mental health issues, ensuring that every young person receives specialised, targeted support from the start.

As part of Stop.Breathe.Think, Snow-Camp has also partnered with Link Up TV, one of the UK’s largest drill YouTube channels and Nito NB, a celebrated West London drill artist, to release a track supporting the campaign. Using his experience of growing up in London and the challenges experienced by young people every day, Nito NB talks about how young peoples’ reactions to everyday situations can alter their futures forever. The track encourages young people to stop and breathe before reacting, helping them make a better decision in the moment. This is the first-time drill music has been used to discuss key issues affecting young people’s mental health, particularly surrounding violent crime. The drill track, titled Breathe, has already been streamed over 100,000 times.