Established in 2017, the Coquitlam Youth Theatre Company (CYT) provides interactive performing arts experiences, skills training and on-stage opportunities for youth ages 10-17. For the 2020-21 season, the CYT students identified and explored emergent issues relating to emotional and physical well-being facing young people today. Together they developed, wrote and performed The Honey Files, a series of monologues that explore topics such as mental health, technology and peer support. These short films encourage peer-to-peer learning and connection.

Special Thanks to Registered Clinical Counsellors Joanna Boyd and Chris Boyd who provided their professional expertise for this project.

Resource List

Below is a list of additional resources recommended by Registered Clinical Counsellors for youth who may want further support.

Question Prompts

These questions were provided by Registered Clinical Counsellors Joanna Boyd and Chris Boyd.

Click here for a downloadable version

Is there a story or character that stood out or resonated with you?

[Notes: this question can hopefully lead to some general discussion/ observations about the performances]. 

Why do we feel the way that we do?

[Notes: there’s lots of reasons!  They tend to fall into two broad categories: nature (our biology, temperament, developmental changes that come with age, genetics) and nurture (all the experiences we have growing up)

When you are feeling upset what do you do to make yourself feel better?

[Notes: strategies may include: connect with a friend/ family member, doing some journaling (20 minutes for 4 days in a row; start off with whatever is bothering you most and let it flow), exercise/ movement, practicing gratitude, mindfulness meditation, spend time in nature, engage in a hobby, foster curiosity (learn something new), etc.  If mental health problems persist, encourage the students to talk to a counsellor or therapist. 

What makes it difficult to reach out for support?

 [Notes: Feelings of embarrassment, confusion, shame, don’t want to seem different, etc.]

Who is your school counsellor?  Where is their office?

[Notes: Have the information available if needed.  Encourage the students to seek out the counsellor and introduce themselves]

Is there another adult (besides your caregivers) who is supportive?

[Notes: a teacher, a friend’s parent, coach, etc.]

What are signs that a friend is struggling?

 [Notes: Signs can vary greatly but could include: not acting like themselves, really quiet, overly emotional, absent from school, etc. It is important to note that some people are good at “masking” how they are doing and even someone who appears to be bubbly and happy can be struggling without you knowing. Because of this it is important to check-in with those friends and family around us!]

What can you do to be supportive of a friend?

[Notes: engage in an activity together, check-in with your friend, ask ‘you’ve been withdrawn (down/ sad, stressed, angry, etc.)  lately, is everything ok? Don’t assume they want advice, don’t keep secrets if you are worried about their safety, and encourage them to get support].

Credits

Written by Students of the Coquitlam Youth Theatre

Director and Dramaturge: Seamus Fera

Assistant Director: Indah Del Bianco

Cinematographer and Editor: Alex Rocco

Designer: Alaia Hamer

Artwork by Laura Clark 

 

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