You've probably heard the term "Comic relief." Humor is one of the greatest stress relievers known to man. It is a fact of life that if we take ourselves too seriously for too long, misery we will become our constant companion, and we will become stuck in our ability to move forward in life. That is not to minimize the trials, challenges, and difficulties of life that we face, especially for those who struggle with mental health challenges, but finding humor and amusement in ourselves and circumstances can lighten the load for ourselves and those around us. That is what Stand up for Mental Health seeks to help mental health consumers to do.
What is Stand Up for Mental Health?
Stand Up for Mental Health is an amazing organization by which people with mental health challenges are trained to perform stand up comedy. Its purpose is to fight the stigma of mental illness, build confidence in the performers, finding humor in their struggles, and to see the lighter side of life. Counselor, mental health consumer, comic, and founder of Stand Up for Mental Health, David Granirer, trains groups struggling with mental health issues all around the country. Let me tell you, the shows are FUN, FUN, FUN, and give new meaning to lol (laughing out loud).
Various mental health organizations hire David to run the classes via Skype. At the end of the course David joins the class and they perform in front of an audience. Yes, it's a bit scary, but it is also liberating and empowering and shows the consumer and the audience that people who have mental disorders are capable of bringing smiles, laughter, and something of great value to the world - themselves!
Stand Up for Mental Health has a DVD out called Cracking Up, a Voice Award winning documentary. It follows a year in the life of Stand Up for Mental Health. In it you can see people with mental health challenges overcome many obstacles to train and perform stand up comedy about their lives with mental illness. And of course viewers witness the performances. Watching people who struggle with anxiety, fear, depression, lack of value and self confidence reach into themselves to find and use a natural talent they never knew they possessed or thought they could use, is inspiring, heart warming, and side splitting.
This is an incredible opportunity for the performers to spread their wings and soar through their journey with hilarity. It will empower them, and propel them into a new dimension of wellness and recovery. What a way to begin the new year!
People with mental health issues have often told themselves "I can't" or "Ya, but."
"Ya, but I'd never be able to do stand up comedy." David Granierer emphatically promises, "I will do whatever it takes to make sure that you will succeed."
"Ya but my family (friends, co-workers etc.) will laugh at me for wanting to do this" Well, laughing is what it's all about. Make them laugh on performance night, then you will have the last laugh.
Granirer says, "Seeing people with mental illness do it forces the audience to re-evaluate their perceptions of and prejudices against people who have a mental illness.”
As we speak, TACID (Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilitites) is conducting a class. And I will admit, I too, am currently in this class and can testify that everything David says is true.
Stand Up for Mental Health to perform in Tacoma
The current Stand Up for Mental Health class at TACID will perform in a show in Tacoma, sponsored by Optum Health and TACID, on March 28th at Tacoma City College. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/stand-up-for-mental-health-tickets-10437040469?aff=es2&rank=0
Please come out and show your support and prepare yourself to laugh out loud. We guarantee you will leave with aching sides from all the laughing.
Go to http://www.standupformentalhealth.com to see video footage and testimonials.