A CONTROVERSIAL new online drama that enabled young people to experience issues relating to sex, drugs and violence and teaches them about the consequences has been launched.
TryLife allows 16 to 24-year-olds to choose what happens to the main character in every episode, basing the outcomes of decisions on probability using real statistics and data.
Scenarios include drug use, fights and sex scenes, and although it has come in some criticism, bosses say that chartered psychologists and charities are hailing the drama as a breakthrough in support for vulnerable adolescents.
Borough actors have been used in the production, including Peter Steven from Tynemouth, who plays James.
TryLife has also developed an education pack to be used by schools, colleges and alternative education providers, enabling teachers to play out the programme in the classroom before discussing what happens next.
Creator Paul Irwin said: “TryLife has the ability to reach young people by using media they understand and delivering information in a format they are familiar with.
“By treating difficult topics honestly and realistically, we are able to gain young people’s trust and signpost them to appropriate support – and whether the wider audience is comfortable with the content or not, that is why we are producing the drama.
“I worked for years in social welfare roles and the world is a challenging place to be for teenagers because a lot of change happens in their lives over a relatively short period of time.
“What we know is that the opportunity to play out scenarios in a safe environment is invaluable in helping young people understand consequences.
“It empowers them. By enabling 16 to 24-year-olds to consider the type of situations they may find themselves in, they can then decide how to respond.”
For further information visit www.trylife.tv