What Rhymes With Reason, a Hopeful Story About a Youth Struggling With Mental Health, Comes to Theaters October 10

A Young man on a "quest" with his friends struggles with suicidal ideations and mental health following a tragic loss.

By Nancy Flory Published on September 25, 2023

“It seems today everyone knows someone who has taken their life β€” and it leaves behind so much devastation that I wanted to take my creativity and use it for a bigger picture,” award-winning director Kyle Roberts told The Stream. His own sister struggles with mental health, and that helped him realize that a chemical imbalance is nobody’s fault. “[M]ental health is NOTHING we should be ashamed of,” he said.

Roberts, who has contributed to projects with Disney, Nickelodeon and DreamWorks, and was a youth counselor with Young Life for eight years, decided it was time to tell the story of mental illness β€” to encourage those who struggle to get help. The film, What Rhymes With Reason, is a fictional tale of six teenagers “on a quest to find a legendary landmark hidden in the wilderness. Together they navigate the adventure while confronting their personal struggles and learning to be vulnerable with their peers,” said Roberts. The teens discover that “for without darkness, how can we know light? Without pain, how do we know ourselves? The journey is hard but it’s where we discover who we are and what’s worth living for. …”

A Range of Emotions

The film is directed toward youth from the ages of 10 to 18, with a support audience of their parents. “My hope is [that] audiences will sense a range of emotions as they go on this journey,” Roberts explained. Some of the themes include community, hope, faith and friendship, but also anxiety, depression, purpose and future. 

Talking About Mental Health

The film is important to see because mental health is hard to talk about. “At any age, it can be difficult to have conversations surrounding mental health, seeking help and faith. This film is carefully crafted to break down those barriers so we can have these much needed conversations with the ones we love.”

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It’s most definitely a film that will spark conversations about suicide prevention among families. That was intentional. “It has been a tall order to produce a film that is real and honest, meanwhile is family friendly and not cheesy. … [W]e have never taken that for granted.”

You are Not Alone

While the film, a Fathom event, will release on October 10, 2023, World Mental Health Day, September is National Suicide Prevention Month. And Roberts has not forgotten the importance of these dates in addressing mental health and suicide prevention. “I hope for the youth that are struggling, when they see other youth struggling on screen, they feel heard and not alone. Also, that there are avenues of HOPE that can be taken. God really surprised us by allowing the film to open on October 10th which is recognized as World Mental Health Day so we hope that also opens up more awareness.”

Take 10 Challenge

Roberts also wants audiences to know about the Take 10 Challenge, and participate. “One in 10 teens suffer from depression symptoms at any given time,” he explained. “We challenge parents and youth workers to take 10 friends to the theaters on 10.10. We want them to join us in this journey to break the stigma and continue these much-needed conversations surrounding mental health and faith!” Following the movie, a QR code will appear on the screen that leads to resources such as 988, The Hope Line and a link where people can find a local counselor. “We have a very REAL opportunity to help a lot of people on 10.10, World Mental Health Day.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988. You are not alone.

Watch the trailer: 

What Rhymes With Reason – Trailer from Kyle Roberts on Vimeo.


Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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