What is Flip The Script Friday?

Flip The Script Friday is an event that takes place on a fortnightly basis where we invite organisations/adults onto our website/social media to answer the questions that young people have for them.

Why is it a thing?

This is an opportunity for young people’s voices to be heard and to have their questions answered. But equally, it’s a chance to destigmatize the discussion of mental health, highlight the great work that organisations are doing and to make reaching out for support from them less intimidating.

This week…

We collaborated with  Platfform, They are a registered charity that has been working in mental health for over 30 years. Their mission is to be a platform for connection, transformation and social change and their vision is sustainable wellbeing for all. 

Q&A Time

We had so many questions sent in by young people to our Instagram @platfform4yp and here are some of the highlights!

What do I need to do to one day get a similar job to you?

I came into my role in a very random way through professional development in other roles. I first came into work for Platfform in a support role and progressed in that direction. But eventually I took a sideways step to begin training simply because I find it more satisfying. I only finished my first formal qualification in training in March, touch, over half a year after stepping into the role. Instead, I  gained traction to get into this role simply by offering to run small educational or training sessions within other roles. I think it’s important taking small leaps like that. You have to stay keen to keep learning in work – ask for extra training and take opportunities when they come, and you end up having a small portfolio to back up your claims that you can do it. – Evee

So I originally went to University but I studied Drama. After coming out of uni I went straight into a job with a theatre company based in Wales and it was working with local people in my community. From then I knew that I loved working with people! So I applied for a job working for a young persons organisation and luckily got it! And the rest is history. But I would say make sure you network with people who work with young people, and keep committed to it as I have had many knock backs along the way but always bounced back because I am passionate about working with young people. – Nicole

I get into my job of a relief worker for platfform, I first went through the 10 weeks state of mind programme, then I done peer mentor training and once I finished my training I started volunteering as a peer mentor with platfform which then a job opportunity came up which I went for and that is how I got my job – Sinead

Simple really – Get support -> Volunteer -> Apply for role. That’s what I did 🙂 So you first sign up to Platform’s support services, go through their State of Mind programme, then become a volunteer and show them you are dedicated and enthusiastic, apply for a job with them after being a volunteer for a while and ta-da! Platfform will support you to achieve that goal – we want young people on our team! – Tammie 

A passion for social justice and making a difference in people’s lives. A can do and positive attitude. Qualifications wise I am a qualified counsellor but I didn’t do that until I was in my thirties! – Sarah

First off I would say finding something that you love and feel passionate about is important in any job you do. I think in a leadership role it’s important to have compassion, to be a good listener and to be open to feedback. I have always looked for opportunities and said yes to new things as I enjoy learning, so trying to find opportunities to learn and test out your skills is a good idea, volunteering is a great way to start! – Siobhan

I’m a website editor and I got my job by volunteering with Platfform at the beginning of March 2020. By September of 2020 I was working with them. So, I would say that find places that are offering volunteering that you would like to work at or are similar to where you want to work at and volunteer with them. This may lead to them offering you a job. However, if they don’t, this volunteering experience is a great experience for you to practice in the industry you would like to work in and when you come to apply for jobs in your field, you’ll have a head start. – Lucy

What change do you want to see in mental health?

That young people are listened to, that together we make decision makers really understand what it is you need. That mental health is not medicalised, drugs are not the answer and that we can all make positive small changes to help ourselves and that this can be learnt from each other, our mental health doesn’t just happen to us, we can make it feel positive and fun! – Sarah

The changes I hope to see in the future for mental health is for all school and hospital staff members to have a basic understanding of mental health, for there to be more support out there for people struggling and for young people to be taken seriously when talking about their mental health. – Sinead

It might sound jaded but I think it comes down to money. I want to see a restructuring of the budget –  we currently have systems that are often hierarchical and over-protective. We need to instead fund growth from the bottom up.

Let’s take Wales’ (AMAZING!) step of introducing emotional literacy into the school curriculum. Do you know the joke ‘ how many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb? – Only one, but the lightbulb has to want to change’? Now, it is true we need to motivate and work on our own emotional wellbeing, but in order to do that we need to know how and when and why. If we start that kind of learning earlier, I think it will go a long way.

But I think that step can only be successful if we invest into emotional education and the people who will teach it. Teaching staff need to be paid according to that work-load, class sizes need to be adequate, time needs to be made – all that costs money and resources. The will is there, the legislation is there, I’d like to see the investment to match.

That is actually the case for a lot of amazing ideas out there. Hence my point: It comes down to money, and it would probably help to redistribute spending. – Evee 

Are there any misconceptions about the work you do, that you would like to tell young people?

Yes! So I feel like a lot of young people think we aren’t relevant to them because we aren’t medical professionals. But we are soooo relevant! We work in a friendly, informal way with young people. This allows us to create strong connections with them which allows them to trust us to support them. – Nicole 

We are all human, we make mistakes, we aren’t perfect. I think this is important to remember in roles where there can be perceived power imbalances. We aren’t here to tell young people what to do, we are here to help them explore their own feeling and ideas and to find their own way forward. We do have a lot of fun during the work we do with young people and I think this can be a bit of a misconception, that because we are dealing with serious emotions and mental health challenges that it’s all very serious but we encourage young people to have fun as that is just so important in life!                  – Siobhan

That its scary and we make you to talk about stuff, we want to build a trusting relationship first and when you are ready you can talk. That you are not a statistic and that everyone needs different support. – Sarah

What advice would you give to young people about coming out of lockdown?

Take it slowly, baby steps, anxiety can be overwhelming and so small changes every day will help it seem more manageable. We are all out of practice socialising and I am sometimes finding it a bit overwhelming. We also need to keep the restrictions that are still in place in mind so getting involved in the Platfform outdoor projects like surfing is a great way to connect with others safely! – Sarah

The advice I would give to young people coming out of lockdown is to remember it is okay to feel whatever emotions you are feeling. Talk to your friends, family or even us at Platfform about however you are feeling weather you are happy and excited or sad and scared, somewhere in between or a mix of emotions, all these feelings are normal and are justified and it is good to talk to others about your feelings. We will all have different feelings towards coming out of lockdown and that is okay. – Sinead

Take it slow and do what you feel comfortable with. Don’t feel bad for what you do, based on what other people are doing and saying.  – Lucy

Take it slow! Don’t feel pressured to do anything differently – now’s the time to set your boundaries and stick to them. If socialising feels daunting, just take it one meet-up at a time. If you do go out though, even if its alone, ENJOY THE SUNNNNN! You’ll miss it in winter. – Tammie

How has the past year with Platfform been? 

Well, I have only bene working here since January of this year. But it has been AMAZING! Everyone is so committed to making a better future for young people, with lots of laughs and fun along the way!  – Nicole 

The past year has been great! We’ve seen platfform grow, more people are interacting with both the social media and the website. We have worked with amazing organizations with our Flip the Script event and have been able to educate and include people on subjects that affect us the most. – Lucy 

The past year with Platfform has been extremely exciting due to starting up the new Swansea Bay project for 13–16 year-olds and the new project I am currently working on for 17-25 year-olds. – Sinead

What is your favourite genre of music?

Well, these days I am quite open to most kinds of music, but I will always be an emo kid at heart. (I miss the Download Festival! 💔) – Tammie

So it used to be metal. But maybe I’ve grown old or something, but while I still really enjoy metal, my music taste is now really random and varied. I love singing along to things though, and I am a proper comic/cartoon geek so I guess soundtracks to ‘modern’ musicals and Disney films are probably high on the list. Who doesn’t love to belt out along to a good show-tune?! – Evee

I love 80’s pop, West coast 1970’s like Steely Dan and I am a secret Harry Styles fan! – Sarah

I do not have a specific favourite genre of music I like anything from Pop, R&B to Rap music, it all depends on the song. - Sinead 

It always depends on what era the music is coming from as my favourite era’s would be 70s/80s/90s and I would listen to more jazz, pop, rock and dance genres. However, if it’s from today’s era, I would go for pop mainly. – Lucy

I love pop, so always love chart music. But I do also love rap, I am a big fan of Stormzy! – Nicole 

How do you look after your own mental health/well-being?

I surround myself with positive supportive people. This allows me to reach out to them if I feel like I need help. I also workout and go to the gym, it allows me to get my pent up energy out for the day. And I eat a balanced diet, I eat healthy when I feel like it but I also eat McDonalds and loads of fast food when my body is craving it.  – Nicole

I live in Pembrokeshire so being in nature is really important for my wellbeing and I love the change of seasons. I eat well, drink plenty of water, run a bit, volunteer and spend lots of time with my family, I love pottering around my garden and this year I am determined to grow lots of vegetables!  – Sarah

Self-Care – from eating a home cooked meal, to cancelling plans in order to take a nap, over doing some yoga stretches midday and having a long shower and using my favourite body lotion. Making space for myself is the best thing I can do to recuperate and keep my energy levels up. – Evee

Being in nature, time alone, reflecting, reading and listening to tedtalks and things like that! Spending time with my family. – Siobhan

Routines for morning and evening are great. I use “Routinary” app which is a good one for me but there’s plenty more out there. I also spend time with friends, spend time on my hobbies, etc. But I think the best thing is that I “take one moment at a time” when I feel overwhelmed. Always one moment – one activity… I just focus on one thing. You can do it too – like right now – you can focus just on reading this… And through reading this, you can be reminded that you are enough… and that you are loved. *Breathe in*…. *Breath out*… You got this – Tammie

What do you do to relax after a hard day of work?

Games! but also, friends. Sometimes games with friends. Walking/bike rides are also pretty good, because time outside is really refreshing when your job means you’re mostly inside all day. – Tammie

If I’m feeling like I need to really relax, a bath, book and an early night wins every time! – Siobhan

Food, a scented candle, and some games or reading – Evee

So I usually shut my laptop, put my pj’s on and watch some reality TV. It is the only way I can focus on something instead of how difficult  my day has been. – Nicole 

I love yoga (our yoga teacher Emma is the best!) and I love walking, if the weather is OK I love to walk especially at this time of year after work has finished I love being outdoors! – Sarah

After a hard day of work, I like to draw or do some arts and crafts to relax. – Sinead

Want to get involved with Platfform?

Read up about them and all of the amazing projects they run on their website here, follow them on Twitter @weareplatfform or email them at youngpeople@platfform.org

Missed out on asking a question this time? No Worries! Keep an eye on our Instagram @platfform4yp for the next Flip The Script! Want to ask a specific individual/organisation questions? DM us and we will make it happen! Until next time!