Youth at risk programs and facilities are overflowing with addicted and hurting youth. In 1995, Woods Homes had 400 youth involved in their programs. That number has now grown to 20,000 according to Madelyn McDonald. In a CBC Special Report it was noted that 8000 young people in Calgary go into the health care system each year because of mental health issues, many of them are suicidal. Yet this only reveals a portion of the problem.
The problem is worse when we look behind the doors of every day, average homes across Calgary. Youth are more stressed, worried, depressed, and anxious than ever. Some are so scared to leave the house they need to be escorted to school. Some cope with their anxiety with self harm or try to ease it with marijiuna. Schools are overwhelmed with the amount of students with special needs such as O.D.D., A.D.H.D., Conduct Disorder, Anxiety Disorders and youth on the spectrum of Austism. Parents feel helpless trying to find solutions to the issues their children are facing while keeping up with jobs needed in order to live in Calgary. Some parents feel they need a Phd in order to know how to guide their children through their struggles. Parents, too, are stressed, tired and exhausted from this chaotic life. Trying to find time to research help and resources becomes a seemingly impossible task while trying to manage life. These factors only further the root problem of disconnection.
None of these youth woke up one morning and wanted this. Their parents didn’t either, so why are they there? “No problem can be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it” (Albert Einstein). If disconnection has created the problem, then we need to look at connection to solve it.
My company, Mpact Movement reveals the show, Letters, looking behind the closed doors of Calgary’s seemingly “perfect world” to connect the dots to the solution that intimate connection can bring to families. The show will bring to light roots that are causing these hard struggles that every day families are facing. With powerful storytelling through original songs created by local emcees Rebecca Dawn, Rubix and Cam the Human, along with urban dance, Letters tells the vulnerable story of three Calgary teens suffering from disconnection. Our hope is that every youth who attends the show can identify with one of the characters and find encouragement to find resilience. We also hope that parents who watch the show will leave with hope and ready to do whatever it takes to fight for their children. The show will inspire families that hope can prevail against all odds, and that in the fear families are facing, there is courage to overcome. In addition to the show, the program will also include direct resources to community supports that can help parents and their children.
The show will be held at the Big Secret Theatre at the Arts Commons September 30-October 4, 2015. Tickets and more information can be found on Mpact’s website at http://mpactdance.com under “our shows”. You can also find Mpact on instagram and twitter at @mpactmovement. See #lettersshowyyc.
I would love for you all to be there.
Mpact Movement is an artistic movement company that thinks differently. We are about inspiring community change through our movement with a message.