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Stop.Breathe.Think brings together drill artists and mindfulness experts to provide mindfulness techniques to help young people manage their emotions. The campaign will also encourage young people across the UK to sign up for the charity’s free series of mindfulness tutorials and free 1-1-counselling sessions.
Mindfulness, the ability to be fully present in the moment, teaches us how to change a rash, reactive mindset into a more considered, responsive and productive one. It provides practical ways to become less reactive, and more able to manage impulsive feelings and behaviours. Although mindfulness doesn’t eliminate factors that may lead to knife crime, such as fear, anger and anxiety, the charity hopes that by providing young people with mindfulness techniques, they can become better equipped to handle their emotions in the moment – with a better chance of reacting calmly.
Nito NB, an up and coming artist from West London, has created the campaign’s first drill track titled Breathe, that teaches young people how to use mindfulness to deal with anger. Whilst growing up, Nito’s mum became his coping mechanism, she taught him how to channel and process his anger. Through his track, Breathe, Nito hopes to raise awareness of the usefulness of mindfulness techniques and the importance of being aware of your emotions. Although drill music has been accused of encouraging knife crime, the charity wants to use a relatable and authentic vehicle to reach as many young people as possible.
Over recent months, whilst delivering its own mental health programme, 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. Young people rarely have the means or resources to find the support they need. Ninety-two percent of young people on Snow-Camp’s programme believe that the rise in knife crime is linked to young people’s mental health issues and challenges related to controlling emotions. That’s why Stop.Breathe.Think is also offering young people across the UK the opportunity to sign up for the charity’s free series of mindfulness tutorials and free 1-1-counselling sessions.
Nito NB’s track will be hosted on LinkUp TV, whilst promotion through posters and billboards in key inner-city locations aims to enable the campaign to reach further young people. Young people can sign-up for the free mindfulness tutorials and 1-1-counselling sessions via the Stop.Breathe.Think website. Check out the campaign poster below!
Dan Charlish, Founder of Snow-Camp said: “We’re incredibly excited to launch our new national campaign, Stop.Breathe.Think. We want the campaign to spark a conversation around the use of mindfulness as a potential tool in the fight against knife crime, through its ability to help young people cope with and manage impulsive feelings and behaviours in the moment.
Our youth volunteers and apprentices have helped to develop this campaign. With their support we have worked with Nito NB and Link UP TV to create a drill track that weaves in mindfulness advice, appealing directly to young people and encouraging them to find out more about developing these skills that could potentially transform their lives.”
Nito NB said: “Growing up in my environment, I’m very familiar with the feeling of anger and the behaviours associated with it that can sometimes lead to violent crime. My mum became my coping mechanism and helped me channel my anger by giving me a chance to process, express and work through my feelings.
That’s a big reason why I took the opportunity to work with Snow-Camp because I know the importance of being aware of how you feel. Being an angry youth is pointless, especially when there is simple mindfulness techniques we can use to help channel that anger into something way more productive. Don’t let an emotion like anger control your actions, just breathe and keep going.”
Rashid Kasirye, Co-Founder of Link Up TV commented: “As a youth inspired platform, the opportunity to partner with Snow-Camp to create something positive and impactful to the youth – made this collaboration a no brainier. We believe our aspirations and the core purpose of this campaign closely align with what both Link Up TV and Snow-Camp stand for.
Music is a universal language that is both felt and heard regardless of any external factors but is also often open to interpretation – however, the intentions behind it aren’t always what they seem. UK Drill is often assigned blame for a lot of negative happenings in the media and our communities, when at its very core – it is simply a reflection of what our youth see, hear and feel.
Our aim continues to be to shine a light on urban culture, as well as offering both established and upcoming artists and personalities the opportunity to showcase their talent on a reputable and integrity driven platform.”
Katherine Weare, Emeritus Professor, University of Southampton and Co-Lead for Education Policy for the Mindfulness Initiative added: “Research evidence is demonstrating that mindfulness is a foundational skill which can help all of us, young and old, to better manage and enjoy our complex lives and become the best version of ourselves we can be.
Taking the time through mindfulness practice to become closely acquainted with the workings of our own mind, cultivating the ability to calmly watch our thoughts and emotions come and go in our minds and bodies, with kindness and curiosity, rather than getting caught up in their ‘reality’ is an essential human skill. For troubled souls and those with anger problems, finding practical ways to become less reactive, and more able to manage impulsive feelings and behaviours can be a life saver for the self and others.
Mindfulness also has been shown to build the attitudes and skills that create a sense of connection, compassion and empathy that can motivates us to find new ways of being with people that build kindness and cooperation.
So, finding vibrant and practical ways that can appeal directly to the young, the alienated, the troubled and the marginalised to help them to practice mindfulness in their everyday lives and get a grip on the impulses and feelings that are creating difficulties is potentially a transformative enterprise.”