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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.
Below is a list of additional resources recommended by Registered Clinical Counsellors for youth who may want further support.
These questions were provided by Registered Clinical Counsellors Joanna Boyd and Chris Boyd.
[Notes: this question can hopefully lead to some general discussion/ observations about the performances].
[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)
[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.
[Notes: Feelings of embarrassment, confusion, shame, don’t want to seem different, etc.]
[Notes: Have the information available if needed. Encourage the students to seek out the counsellor and introduce themselves]
[Notes: a teacher, a friend’s parent, coach, etc.]
[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!]
[Notes: engage in an activity together, check-in with your friend, ask ‘you’ve been withdrawn (down/ sad, stressed, angry, etc.)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].
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