People living with mental health problems have been given the chance to take to the stage and talk about their experiences as part of an evening of comedy to raise awareness for World Mental Health day.
Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery reality, has teamed up with the organisers of the annual Liverpool Comedy Festival to run the event tackling mental health stigma.
Feeling Funny, an evening of comedy held in the city on Thursday 8th October, is the culmination of a project where people living with mental health problems have undertaken work shops in writing and performing comedy.
Sam Avery, artistic director at The Comedy Trust, says the course is a great way to encourage people to open up about their conditions in a safe environment whilst increasing confidence and social skills.
He said: “Laughter and comedy enable quite heavy topics to be discussed in an accessible way and also allows the participants to develop incredibly memorable and informative stand up routines about the subject. They’re also very funny, without in any way mocking the subject of mental health.
“The Feeling Funny Programme aims to encourage people to discuss their mental health openly via stand up comedy routines. We got involved with Richmond Fellowship to help put on this very special event around World Mental Health Day and we can’t wait to get the show started!”
Peter Ryan, who will be performing at the event on Thursday, said: “The camaraderie of the group and the laughs we had at every session will stay with me forever and I feel very privileged to have been part of this unique experience.
“I seem to be sparked by a sense of anything is achievable if we just take a risk now and again, there is always tremendous support and encouragement and I would recommend the Feeling Funny course to anyone who experiences difficulties anxiety and depression.”
“Following a survey of the people we support, we found that many people have felt the effect of negative stigma and people’s lack of understanding about what it is like to live with a mental health problem.
“Events like this are a great way to reduce the uncertainty and stigma around mental health and provide people with the opportunity to open up and discuss their conditions in a fun and inviting setting. It forms part of a wide array of events we’re doing to promote World Mental Health day in Liverpool and we’re all very excited for it.”
Feeling Funny takes place on Thursday 8th October at The Brink in Liverpool. For more information on the event and the Feeling Funny course visit: www.thecomedytrust.com