Counselling group offers help after school fears

From left, Kevin scott, Hayley Morrison, Jayne Preece, Laura Crombie, Angela Knox ,Claire Davidson, and Connor Cullen.
From left, Kevin scott, Hayley Morrison, Jayne Preece, Laura Crombie, Angela Knox ,Claire Davidson, and Connor Cullen.

A Fife drug counselling service is reminding parents that it can offer support in the wake of an incident at a Kirkcaldy high school.

A drug alert was sent to all parents and guardians of children from all four of the town’s high schools after a 14-year-old boy took ill and was rushed to hospital.

It warned that purple-coloured pills could be in circulation and anyone who took them should seek medical attention.

Laura Crombie, service manager of the Clued Up Project – which is Kirkcaldy-based but offer support Fife-wide – said one of the discussions the group has with youngsters is to be careful.

She said: ‘‘One of the biggest conversations we have nowadays with young people is reminding them you don’t know what you’re taking.

“You might think that it’s an ecstasy pill for example, but how do you know?”

The project works with young people under 25, with its outreach service working with 12-18 year olds.

Laura said: “The majority of cases – around 65 per cent – are referrals from education.

“In a situation like this where there has been a particular concern which has been highlighted, we would try to respond to that need.

“In the past we’ve run drop-in sessions at schools to let young people know that we’re there, though we are in schools a lot anyway.

“Our staff have great relationships with young people in the area. They imbed themselves within the school community – they know where we are.

“If a school does have a particular issue then we will respond quite quickly, and I think we did that well in this case.”

Clued Up have identified cannabis and alcohol as the top two drugs of choice for youngsters in Fife.

“Drinking alcohol is a rite of passage for a lot of young people, but then that can become a problem,” she said.

“That’s when we want to be working with them when they identify that actually it’s getting a bit out of control.

“The majority of our service for our outreach work is one-to-one support. It’s informal and confidential

“We have good links with all our partners so if there are any concerns we may have to breach confidentiality, but the young person is made aware of that.

“If we feel they are in too much risk for us to maintain that information the young person is the first to know that we are going to do that.

“We would never do that behind their back so that’s what gains the respect.”

She added: “We have the drop-in, it’s very flexible support and not just appointment-based. They can pop in and get a cuppa and a chat.”