Skip to main content

NSCG Newcastle College hosts the premiere of film ‘The Edge of Reality’

Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) Newcastle College hosted the premiere of ‘The Edge of Reality’, a film produced give an insight into at risk mental states. The special red carpet event took place on Tuesday 2nd July for all those involved in producing the film.

Staff, service users and students from North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, NSCG Newcastle College and film production company Junction 15 attended the premiere of the educational film they produced, which highlights how it feels to be a young person experiencing an at risk mental state and how to access support services.

Commissioned by the Early Detection Intervention and Engagement (EDIE) service at Combined Healthcare, the trust worked in partnership with Junction 15 and the Performing Arts department at NSCG Newcastle College.

The film follows the fictional journey of 17 year-old Ben, who is presenting as being at high risk of developing psychosis. This is also referred to as an At Risk Mental State (ARMS). Though this can vary from individual to individual, stressful life events can contribute to the development of mental health difficulties. For Ben, a family bereavement has been a contributing factor. The film demonstrates the difficult and distressing impact that Ben’s mental health had on his life and relationships, and how he decides to access support from an early detection mental health service.

The film has received particular accolade for the way co-production has been prioritised throughout each stage. At Combined Healthcare, EDIE is a developing service pathway that supports young people aged 14 – 35 who are living with unusual experiences and are presenting as being at high risk of developing psychosis, or an at risk mental state. The service worked with Junction 15 and NSCG Newcastle College to ensure that the discussion and participation from service users and their parents, EDIE staff, the College’s Performing Arts department and Junction 15 was at the heart of the production of the video. It was unanimously agreed that the film and the work involved was a great example of the inclusive, strengths-based, creative approach that underpins co-production.

The film was awarded the first co-production logo by the Involvement Collaborative, a joint group made up of staff, service users and carers from Combined Healthcare and Midlands Partnership University Foundation Trust (MPFT). The co-production logo was awarded as a mark of co-production.

Jackie Powell, Clinical Lead and EDIE Pathway Lead, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, commented about the team effort behind the film: “As a team, it's been inspiring to work with our service users and partners to develop the film. The attitudes of all involved have been brilliant and will go a long way towards tackling the stigma relating to mental health, encouraging people to speak out and access support. We hope that through the film we can increase understanding and support early recognition of ARMS, enabling young people to access help and support early to minimise the distress and impact that unusual experiences can have."

Denise Haney, Assistant Principal for Student Services & Designated Safeguarding Lead for NSCG Newcastle College said: “I’m delighted that our students and staff have been able to contribute to this educational film. I feel so many young people will benefit from watching this.

“I’m sure filming in a local college and having a cast of local young people will make the film even more impactful and relatable, which will hopefully help people to spot the signs in a friend or loved one who is experiencing mental health difficulties. Getting support is so crucial to a person’s recovery and can save lives.”

Junction 15 commented on the focus on collaborative working for the project: “Throughout the entirety of the project, from first meeting to final edit, we have found a way to work together in true co-production style. Both parties appreciated that they were the expert in their field and had the main say in that area, but we merged ideas, processes and delivery in a way that helped, not only making a film that has been highly regarded amongst services users and staff, but an experience that was positive for all involved.”

Watch the film here: 

For more information or to contact the EDIE service, please visit their website or the website of North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust.