In November 2020, we launched Stop.Breathe.Think in response to the pandemic. First and foremost, we provide free counselling for young people who would otherwise be unable to afford it. With no wait times and a team of specialised counsellors ready to go, demand is growing rapidly.
Our vision is for every child and young person to have someone to talk to. Without barriers, without stigma and without the wait.
Over the past three years 3,004 young people have received counselling support and we’ve delivered 17,230 therapy sessions. We have worked with 127 partners and in partnership with Shout supported 1,108 young people via our 24-hour text service. We’re seeing more and more young people getting in touch each month, that’s why we have increased our capacity to ensure that we are there for every single young person who needs us.
To view our safeguarding policy, click here.
We are now at the point where everything is in place to grow and expand the service, to play a significant role in the support of young people and their mental health. Find out more about our team below.
Meet some of our counsellors
Carrie McLelland I am a CBT Therapist with SBT and currently work with young people providing one to one counselling and also Mental Health workshops. I came from working in leisure providing gym instruction to vulnerable adults and teens. I trained for three years to qualify at degree level in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Groupwork. I have been working as a Counsellor since October 2021 and have been able to support vulnerable young people with a range of difficulties providing them with alternative perspectives, helpful coping strategies and a listening ear. I find my role very rewarding and enjoy meeting and supporting young people to learn to be kind to themselves.
Maurhys Phillips I am an experienced Child and Adolescent Therapist with over 10 years' experience working with children, young people and their families. I have worked in primary and secondary schools in a number of rules including Senior Learning Mentor, Safeguarding Lead and School Counsellor.
Claire MatthewI am a Person-Centered Therapist who has over 15 years of wide experience. I tend to specialise in working with high-risk clients who are experiencing very difficult times in their lives, be it self-confidence, depression, self-harm, domestic violence or survivors of sexual assault. I offer a safe, non-judgemental space for you to open up and explore your worries, and will be here to guide and walk with you all the way. Therapy sessions should be seen as a time to really cherish, a time to feel fully understood and listened to and a space to safely explore those inner most feelings that have perhaps been held in for many years. Whatever your issues, I offer a highly experienced, fully accredited and qualified approach to your needs. I love working with SBT because it reaches out and supports so many young people, at the time they really need it. I am proud to be part of the team here.
Estelle HarrisonI've worked with young people for over 15 years in various roles and that experience has given me a broad understanding of the challenges young people face. My aim is to put my young clients at ease so they feel comfortable talking through whatever problems they are facing. Talking things through, developing self-awareness, understanding and compassion along with healthy ways of coping are all part of my counselling approach.
Henrietta SnowI trained as an integrative child and adolescent counsellor and work with ages 4 years old upwards, including adults. As an integrative counsellor I am experienced in using many different mediums such as art materials, puppetry, sand tray and more. I enjoy being able to be diverse in the way I work, adapting my approach to each individual and what they might need. I practice from a relational stance and can work with many different issues. My style is warm, open and engaged and I pay close attention to what each client brings to the session, to my own response and what emerges between us.
Jack KirtonHello! My name is Jack Kirton and after several years of supporting the mental health, social development and academic performance of children and young people in schools I began training to become a counsellor in 2017. I've helped hundreds of clients with a wide range of problems and I now specialise in working with men and boys aged 16+. Aiding young men to develop the skills to navigate life effectively is something that will always strike a chord with me, and I think back to when I was that age and about how much a counsellor or mentor could have helped. Most males to a greater or lesser extent have a built-in reluctance to talk about their problems and whilst this serves a purpose it can often be detrimental. My approach involves combining a non-judgemental and empathetic space with solution-focused critical thinking to help you take positive action to better understand yourself, manage negative thoughts and emotions, and overcome the pains and challenges of life.
Paul GreenHaving worked in education for eight years, I have been able to really support the mental and emotional health of young people within my specialised age bracket and my four years of Samaritans experience has also provided me with the skill set to offer emotional support through listening. I am also able to support adult clients who could benefit from support through the person-centred approach. I specialise in counselling young people and can offer a person-centred approach to counselling. Person-centred counselling means that my focus would be purely on what a young person wishes to bring to the session, as and when they bring it and would work with the client to work things out for themselves, without giving advice.
Laura BakerI am a person-centred counsellor with experience of working with clients of all ages. I am passionate about mental health and have worked in several different settings dealing with a variety of different issues. I have a particular interest in working with young people through what can be extremely challenging years as they transition from childhood into adulthood. I have a vast amount of experience working with grief, loss, anxiety, body dysmorphia, gender, sexuality, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, sexual assault, low self-esteem, and relationships. Through counselling I offer young people a safe space in which they can explore complex emotions, feel heard, valued and with support and guidance feel empowered to make long lasting positive changes in their lives.
Sacha AkinyemiI have over 5 years of professional work experience as a Counsellor/Therapist. My experiences are vast and have given me the opportunity to help a wide range of clients with issues such as stress and anxiety, coping with grief and loss & family disfunction. I also have experience working with motivation, self-esteem, and confidence. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion. I tailor my dialog and treatment plan to meet clients unique and specific needs. It takes courage to seek out a more fulfilling and happier life and to take the first steps towards a change. I am here to support & empower clients in that journey. When starting my professional career many years ago I first trained in education because I’ve always had a love for children and young people. As time passed this want became a need, a need to give personal one-to-one support to those children young people going through rapid change on the road to adult hood. For this reason, working with SBT has given me an amazing opportunity to work directly with those most in need during a time of transaction in their life. Young people face of a range of different challenges which may stem from not being in control of their own lives, changing education settings to physical and mental challenges. Life can sometimes feel overwhelming which is a valid reason that support is needed. Along with the changes mentioned above life can throw all sorts of issues our way and this is where counselling can help. The support that we offer at SBT is so valuable and I am privileged to be a part of it.
Joanne DandridgeMy initial interest in counselling started whilst studying Psychology at Nottingham University. I followed this with a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology. There was a big emphasis on using CBT and person-centred methods in on the course. My clinical hours were met working at Headway Brain Injury Clinic, with adults who had acquired brain injury through accidents or sickness. Often associated with acquired traumatic brain injury were issues such as depression, alcohol abuse, suicidal ideation and anger issues. Post qualification I worked at Kids Company in London with children who were having problems in class. Despite my background in CBT, Person Centred, I also have a strong interest in Psychodynamic, existential and mindfulness as counselling methods. I am hoping to specialise in counselling for depression at the Metatonia Institute in the coming few years.
May SmithMay has been supporting both primary and secondary aged children in school and in her private practice, for a number of years. She is able to create a calm setting, so the young person feels safe and at ease in the counselling session, in order to begin to tell their story and explore things that they are finding challenging. This early intervention, in turn, assists the young person to process, gain coping strategies and build resilience, for moving forward. May has extensive experience in trauma, as well as supporting young people dealing with loss, friendships issues, self-esteem, parental separation, anxiety, school issues and much more. May is passionate about no young person having to struggle alone and she believes every behaviour may often be a communication of an unmet need. By meeting that need, things can begin to improve and have a positive impact on all the above.
Sally-Jane PapworthI have worked as a counsellor with Adults, children and families for 15 years. The concerns I work with are varied and can be complex however supporting people to grow in confidence and improved self-esteem and self-worth is extreme rewarding. I work closely with parents and schools to ensure a joined-up approach that suits the needs of the individual children I work with. Since 2020 I have worked extensively online as well as still practicing face to face. I believe working flexibility and with a client led approach is key to building a sound and successful therapeutic relationship. In my work I have focussed with clients on bereavement, low self-esteem, high anxiety, poor confidence, separation anxiety, exam fears, procrastination, school refusal, domestic violence /sexual abuse, friendship concerns , relationship issues, effects of divorce. Working with children can be complex and I believe counselling is most successful when parents engage with process alongside their child.