Citation: Mullen, C. A., Buttignol, M. & Diamond, C. T. P. (2005, July 29). Flyboy:
Using the arts and theater to assist suicidal adolescents.
International Journal of Education & the Arts, 6(5). Retrieved
[date] from http://www.ijea.org/v6n5/.
This article integrates story and the form of qualitative methodology known as
arts-based inquiry. The authors use this approach to provide a case study of Kal, a
15-year-old boy who had unsuccessfully attempted to end his life by “flying” off
his apartment balcony. The paper begins with orientation to the background of
this case and to arts-based inquiry and case history and then proceeds with an
imaginative re-creation of the involvement of Margie, Kal’s caregiver, in this case
in the form of a letter written in role by her as Kal to his mother. Finally, the
authors discuss how arts-based representations can be used to positively affect
mental health and to generate creative healing energy. In this presentation Kal is
the leading character, and Margie, Kal’s real-life teacher in a hospital-based mental
health unit in Ontario, Canada, is the supporting actress. Through dramatic
fictionalization of her work with Kal, Margie found that “human learning can be
renewed when teacher researchers use arts-based textual strategies to reflect on
experience and invite others to respond to these inquiries” (Diamond & Mullen,
1999, p. 18).