Mental health and social change charity, Platfform, has teamed up with young people to create Platfform 4YP, a vital digital resource to support young people during lockdown and beyond.
The charity has collaborated with young people across Wales for 18 months to develop a wellbeing programme, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government. Platfform 4YP was created from this work and benefits hugely from relationships formed and insights gained during the collaboration.
Launched on Thursday 14th May, Platfform 4YP has been built and designed by young people, for young people. The resources, aimed at 14-24 year olds, include an interactive website featuring powerful insights from young people who have faced challenges with their mental health.
The Platfform 4YP website offers tips for what can help when you are struggling, information on how and where to get help, ways to feel empowered and how to build resilience during difficult times. The site’s articles, covering everything from gaming to meditation and beyond, are all written by young people, and carry their own voices.
Platfform 4YP is edited by Tom Evans, a prominent young mental health activist, photographer and winner of Youth Work Excellence Awards. He’ll be working alongside a team of young editors and content creators.
Hope and inspiration among lockdown uncertainty
The impact of lockdown on young people’s mental health is an ongoing concern, with the Mental Health Foundation’s recent report stating that 44% of 18 – 24 year olds are, unsurprisingly, struggling with feeling lonely. Many are also anxious about school, college and university closures, and future employment prospects.
Ewan Hilton, Chief Executive at Platfform said:
“We’re all trying to get to grips with a significant change to the way we are living our lives and what people seem to be struggling with the most is uncertainty, loneliness and not being able to connect in the ways that we’re used to.”
“I’m so grateful that we are able to launch Platfform 4YP at a time when people are craving connection, and feeling that need to check-in with each other. The beauty of Platfform 4YP is that the project has been created and curated by young people, so this is an authentic young voice that people can relate to, interact with and be inspired by.
I’m really excited to see how the project develops and demonstrates how peer support can be so powerful during times like these.”
Tom Evans, Chief Editor of Platfform 4YP said:
“I truly do believe that this project has the potential to not only support, empower and inspire young people but also to change the fundamental landscape of mental health sector co-production.”
“A project like Platfform4YP is something that I needed when I was struggling with my own mental health. We are giving young people a platform to speak openly and honestly about their opinions and experiences, to feel empowered by the fact that their voices are being not only heard but listened to. We are not only giving young people the opportunity to impact this project, we are actually implementing their ideas. This is what I believe is missing in the sector today.”
For Platfform 4YP go to: www.platfform4yp.org (site went live Thurs 14 May).