Lights, camera, positive action in Barnsley


Students at Darton College are taking to the stage to encourage discussion and openness around mental health.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Darton College in Barnsley have collaborated to produce a thought-provoking piece of theatre designed to reduce stigma and increase awareness of mental health issues amongst young people.

Year 10 students from the college will perform ‘Outside In’, a play about a young girl’s experience of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It will be shown to Barnsley pupils from every part of the town over four days next week. The play has been written and directed by Richard Billings, drama teacher at Darton College and Kath Cooper, Project Lead and Health Improvement Practitioner for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Barnsley Council.

Kath said, “The play highlights the difficulties and dilemmas that young people may experience during their lives, with a specific focus on the stigma of mental health. Young people from Barnsley have contributed to the development of the production through workshops and leaflet design, helping to ensure its relevance to other young people.

“Mental health isn’t always talked about as much or as openly as it should be; we wanted to find a different way of approaching the subject with young people. The script involves emotional, sensitive scenes and the actors are predominantly the same age as the audience.

“We are really looking forward to showcasing the talents of Darton College’s students and have been very impressed with their commitment to the project and their interest in mental health. After weeks of rehearsals and workshops, it will be fantastic to see their hard work pay off and I am certain it will be a huge success.”

Lights, camera, positive action in Barnsley

time to read: 1 min