A groundbreaking app which offers free 24/7 access to therapists and real-time support for the 3.3 million young people in the UK struggling with their mental health has been launched.
Hidden Strength is available to people aged from 13 to 24 and facilitates a community of like-minded people to anonymously come together and support each other, with round-the-clock access to tools and activities that promote holistic mental wellbeing.
Its launch follows research commissioned by Hidden Strength, which reveals over a third – 34 per cent – of young people in Greater London say they are struggling with their mental health, and two thirds – 65 per cent – would take up therapy if it was free.
Launching in Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Hidden Strength will support the countless young people whose problems have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Its research also revealed that two thirds – 67 per cent – of young people who are suffering from mental ill-health have only done so since the first lockdown in March 2020, whilst three quarters (74 per cent) say their condition has worsened in the last 14 months.
This trend is set to continue, with a fifth (22 per cent) of young people saying they feel very anxious about the return to normal once lockdown restrictions lift.
Linsey Lunny, founder and CEO of Hidden Strength, says: “As a mother of two children entering their teen years and reflecting on my own mental health experiences in my youth, I was conscious that now, more than ever, adolescents need a reliable source of information and support.
“The global pandemic has seen them face insurmountable mental health challenges, yet identifying trustworthy resources online can be like finding a needle in a haystack and professional support can come with long waiting lists, high fees and often doesn’t cater to the way young people live and behave.
“Hidden Strength will transform the mental health provision for young people. As a safe, free-to-use platform in an environment that is familiar and appealing to young people, it will ensure they get the advice, guidance and support that they need at any time of day – both peer-to-peer, and in the form of fully qualified, on-demand therapists.”
Dr Dawn Harper, practicing NHS GP, TV presenter and member of the Hidden Strength Advisory Board, adds: “Working as an NHS GP, I have seen a worrying increase in the number of young people suffering with mental health issues in recent years.
“The effect of the pandemic has sadly exacerbated the problem, so I was delighted to join the team at Hidden Strength to help combat the issue with such an innovative solution.
“The Hidden Strength app is a unique ‘one stop shop’ for mental health and wellbeing for teenagers and young adults, allowing them to access reliable support where and when they need it, in a safe and secure way.”