On October 19 UBC’s Okanagan campus will welcome a group of standup comedians with a variety of mental health issues for a comedy show that looks at the lighter side of mental illness — from taking meds and seeing counsellors to diagnosis and surviving the mental health system.
The comedy organization Stand Up For Mental Health (SMH) teaches people to create and perform original comedy material about their mental health journeys.
“We use comedy to give consumers a powerful voice and help reduce the stigma and discrimination around mental illness,” says David Granirer, a counselor and founder of SMH, and standup comic. “With a renewed sense of self-esteem and purpose, our students deliver a compelling message of hope and empowerment.”
Mental health consumers learn to turn their problems into comedy then perform their acts at treatment centres, health organizations, corporations, government agencies, on college and university campuses, military bases, in correctional facilities, and — of most importance, says Granirer — comedy festivals, fund-raisers and community forums for the general public.
Stand Up for Mental Health at UBC’s Okanagan campus takes place October 19 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the University Centre ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m.
UBC students, faculty and staff can attend the event by donation. For community members tickets are $10. Although payment is made at the door, anyone planning to attend the Standup for Mental Health event is required to register online by October 12 . Proceeds from the event will be donated to the United Way.
SMH has programs in Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph, Fort Francis and London, Ontario, and Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Vancouver, Victoria and Courtney in B.C. SMH Days on Campus gives schools across the country the opportunity to share mental health strategies, challenges, successes and research. For more information visit www.standupformentalhealth.com.
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