Research reveals over half of young Londoners believe lockdown has negatively impacted their mental health


Stop.Breathe.Think is a new mental health service run by national youth charity Snow-Camp. Unlike other free mental health services, Stop.Breathe.Think offers young people, aged 21 or under, up to 12 weekly 1 hour counselling sessions. With no wait times and a team of 40+ specialised counsellors, Stop.Breathe.Think is providing vital mental health access to young people at a time when they need it the most. If young people need support in between their counselling sessions Stop.Breathe.Think also offer a free 24/7 text support service.

Alarmingly, the average age of young people getting in touch is 14 and some of the most common issues they are facing include anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Furthermore, research conducted by Stop.Breathe.Think reveals that the pandemic has made 3 out of 5 young Londoners feel anxious, with 1 in 3 being 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%).

Stop.Breathe.Think 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. Since the launch of Stop.Breathe.Think, over 500 young people have independently reached out for support.

Currently taking place via videocall, over 1,000 sessions have been delivered through the service. After receiving counselling via Stop.Breathe.Think, young people are connected with local partners and organisations to carry on their counselling journey and continue receiving support if they need it. Since completing their counselling sessions 70% said that they now feel in a better place mentally.

Stop.Breathe.Think has also partnered with Link Up TV, one of the UK’s largest drill YouTube channels and Nito NB, a celebrated drill artist, to release a track supporting the campaign. Using his experience of growing up in an inner-city 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. Young people in London can also access follow-up, youth led, mindfulness tutorials via the Stop.Breathe.Think website.

A young person from London said: “I felt like I couldn’t breathe or smile or do anything without waves of doubt and regret and guilt over nothing and everything – and now I can see a bright future. Now I can see it is okay for me to be positive and happy. And I know I have a long way to go but now I have the strategies to help me on my journey.”