On Thursday, October 10th, the Canadian Mental Health Association is hosting the Stand Up for Mental Health Comedy Show for the community.
Stand Up for Mental Health is a program created by David Granirer, a counsellor, stand-up comedian and mental health keynote speaker from Vancouver. The program has been running since 2004 and teaches people suffering from mental health to turn their problems into stand up comedy. The students then perform their acts to the public at comedy clubs, schools, conferences and many mental health organizations.
Granirer has trained people in over 50 cities in North America and Australia, and his program has won a variety of awards internationally.
“We use comedy to give mental health consumers a powerful voice and help reduce the stigma and discrimination around mental illness,” Granirer said.
Granirer’s work has been featured by media worldwide, in the VOICE Award-winning Passionate Eye documentary Cracking Up and the award-winning Australian documentary Cracking Up.
“Though [stand-up comedy] isn’t intended as therapy, I’ve had students overcome long-standing depressions and phobias, not to mention increasing their confidence and self-esteem,” Granirer remarks.
Krystian Shaw, the founder of the Kamloops Self-Advocate newsletter and Glenn Hilke, founder of The Big Edition paper, teamed up to raise money for the program by hosting a screening of the documentary Cracking Up back in May. Now, they’re able to bring the comedy show to the city on World Mental Health Day.
“It’s awesome to see this happening,” Hilke explains, “we are so proud of the comedians that have the courage to do this.”
Many former students have shared testimonials on how the program was able to bring humour to their bumpy roads to recovery. They explained that being able to make people laugh and cheer for you as you share details about your life can feel very empowering.
The event will be held at The Rex in downtown Kamloops. There will be pre-show activities and music starting at 6:30. The comedy show goes from 7:15-8:30 and 8:30-9. It will include an award ceremony and Q&A with David Granirer, who will also be discussing the program for those interested.
For more information, visit standupformentalhealth.com.