Today (Saturday 10th September) is World Suicide Prevention Day. Here is our flip the script with Samaritans who work to prevent people dying by suicide.
What is Flip The Script Friday?
Flip The Script Friday is a weekly event 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 destigmatise the discussion of mental health, highlight the great work that organisations are doing and to make reaching out for support from them less intimidating.
We collaborated with Emma from Samaritans. Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide. We work to reach more people and make suicide prevention a priority. Samaritans is not only for the moment of crisis, we’re taking action to prevent the crisis. We’re here, day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure.
We had so many questions sent in by young people to our Instagram @platfform4yp and here are some of the highlights!
What does the day-to-day look like for you working at Samaritans?
I’m the Policy and Communications Officer for Wales so I work across a lot of different areas. Each day I work to get our mission and values heard across Wales, which can range from radio adverts through to responding to Welsh Government consultations.
Why did you decide to be a part of the Organization?
When I was a teenager, I had depression and anxiety and I still work hard to manage aspects of my mental health. I understand how common it is to struggle with your feelings and I felt lucky that I’d had lots of support. I wanted to help people who are struggling to cope but don’t feel like they have anyone to talk to.
If a young person would like to follow in your footsteps, what advice would you give them to do that?
Try and do your best and remember that’s the most you can do. Noone is judging you as hard as you judge yourself. If you’re unhappy, it’s okay to make a change – no one really know what they’re doing and it can take a long time to work out what you want to do.
What sort of support do you give young people?
Anyone can contact Samaritans, no matter how old you are. Asides from our support service, we also support schools, college communities and other youth settings through our postvention services, lesson plans and school talks.
What is your favourite food and why?
Pasta! I love Italian food and could eat it every day (and probably do!)
The month of July, you do an event called "Talk to Us". What does that involve?
Throughout July, Samaritans branches across the UK and ROI will be raising awareness of the services they offer locally, while also encouraging anyone in need of emotional support to contact their listening volunteers, who are available 24/7. In Wales, we are also encouraging people in Wales to become better listeners so they can support friends and family who may be struggling. For this we are promoting our listening tips which you can find at Samaritans.org/shush
Can young people get involved with the "Talk to Us" event and if yes, how can they?
Definitely! To become a better listener and find out how you can support someone wo is struggling please visit Samaritans.org/shush. This July, you can also take part in Samarathon to help us raise vital funds by walking or running 26.2 miles, whenever and wherever you like. Find out more at samarathon.samaritans.org
What advice would you give young people who are struggling with their mental health?
Firstly, we want young people to know that you are not alone in feeling like this. Talking about how you feel is really important, whether you talk to a friend, family member, GP or Samaritans. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.
If there is one thing that you would want young people to take away from this experience, what would it be?
Listening and talking saves lives – asking a friend how they’re feeling can mean the world to them. Never be afraid to reach out and remember you’re never alone.
What is your favourite way to spend the day off?
A day off always includes a walk which helps with my mental health and then definitely a bath and a good series to watch. Stranger Things is always a winner!
If you could visit one place, where would you go and why?
I would love to go to back to Italy! I took a train through various places in Italy a few years ago and absolutely loved Florence – it felt like I was in a film.