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Schools set to ‘Talk out Loud’ about drugs and mental health

Buzzed Drama to premiere at Northampton College

A powerful and thought provoking play, called ‘The Buzzed’ looking at how drugs and alcohol can affect decisions and relationships, as well as mental health premiered today at Northampton College. Performed by Northampton College students and delivered as part of the TALK OUT LOUD mental health programme, this special performance marked the start of a county-wide tour of ‘The Buzzed’ to 20 secondary schools in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr Tony Ansell and Jayne Crofts attended the premiere, along with representatives from Northamptonshire County Council and the local NHS, who jointly fund the TALK OUT LOUD mental health programme. The TALK OUT LOUD participation group, consisting of over 30 young people from across Northamptonshire who drive the TALK OUT LOUD programme also attended.

Tessa Parkinson, Programme Manager for the TALK OUT LOUD programme, said “We are pleased to be working with Northampton College to address this important topic. Some young people smoke, may try drugs including alcohol and sometimes this is because they have a mental health need that isn’t being met. It doesn’t take much for them to lose control and need help to stop and recover. ‘The Buzzed’ addresses the effects that any drug whether it’s legal or illegal, can have on our lives and the effects that it can have on our mental health. It’s important that we encourage young people to TALK OUT LOUD about mental health and the effects that drugs can have on our decisions, our lives and our mental health.”

Helen Coope, Level 3 Acting Course Leader from Northampton College said “The students have really enjoyed updating the script for this production, to make sure that the drugs and mental health information is as up-to-date, current and relatable as it possibly can be. They know the effects mental health issues have on young people, they know how easy it can be to self-medicate rather than seeking proper treatment and they know how hard it can be for some people to talk out loud. This project gives them the opportunity to work as a professional Theatre in Education Company would, to tour a piece which is hard-hitting, dramatically engaging and filled with advice on how to cope if you find you or someone you know in the same situation.”

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