Teen health issues explored in school theatre tour

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Third year pupils in Tayside schools will explore health issues through the creativity of theatre with a play written especially for them.

The Early Years and Young People Team at NHS Tayside works with the three local education departments and the Dundee and Angus College Acting and Performance Team each year to produce a play aimed at 14 and 15-year-olds. The play is designed to help pupils explore a wide range of health issues facing young people today.

The play and accompanying workshops will be touring secondary schools across Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross throughout February and March.

This year’s play entitled ‘What Did I Miss?’ examines substance misuse, emotional wellbeing, relationships and child poverty, as well as highlighting the clear link social media has with young people’s lives.

The key message that the organisers want to get across to the students is that they have the right to seek confidential help and advice whether they are under or over the age of 16.

Kerry Dalgetty, senior health promotion officer with the Early Years and Young People Team at NHS Tayside, said, “The students will see a devised piece and will then take part in workshops to discuss the issues, as well as the importance of beginning to take responsibility for their own health. They will also have the opportunity to ask local staff questions during a question and answer session.

“It is hoped that the experience will help young people to feel more confident seeking help if they need it, knowing they have the right to be listened to by local services and that they will not be judged. Our main focus is around promoting the support available to enable young people to use local services rather than finding themselves in a position where their health is compromised.

“We are delighted to have secured the services of a young cast as this always helps to make the issues more real for the audience.  We are also grateful for the support of local service providers at the sessions.”

Vicky Heath, artistic director of Nunah Theatre Company, who supported the actors with the devising process, said, “Dundee and Angus Theatre Graduates have created a smartly entertaining performance, both canny and slick, that comments on many themes and issues which are wholly relatable to a young audience.

“‘What Did I Miss?’ addresses issues a young audience should contemplate, and the talented company does so with unique style and skill.”

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