Stand Up For Mental Health (SMH) uses comedy to break down stigma surrounding mental illness
SMH is a unique Vancouver, BC based organization that uses stand-up comedy to break down stigma, prejudice and discrimination surrounding mental illness.
SMH Founder, David Granirer, teaches people from the community who have mental illness how to create and perform their own original comedy material about their mental health journeys. David is a counselor, stand up comedian, public speaker, the author of "The Happy Neurotic" and he lives with depression.
What starts out as rehabilitation and recovery becomes empowerment and enables our students to go out into their communities to entertain, educate and destigmatize their audiences.
SMH has Canadian programs from coast to coast and does shows across Canada and in the USA.
With my mother having bipolar disorder - she lives in a house with ten other people with various illnesses. They absolutely light up when I show up to visit Mom. I keep them laughing when things are tough. I even had the staff lady laughing - she told me specifically to only visit during her shift . I get along with every single person in there - and I know not all the staff can say that!
The most interesting thing happened on Mother's Day - one of the guys living in the house is very distorted with his thinking - he says things like they were out of thin air and it's almost mumbling (one instance was he said something about cleaning a school). Anyway, he had also been known to call on the phone to random people and he had a phone book. Well, one of the ladies in the house said that she needed it and that he had it. It was hard to know whether he understood what she said. I asked him if he knew where it was so she could use it. About five minutes later, he walked up and handed it to me. I complimented him right away (I was almost in tears). Knowing that these people fight the noise in their minds, and more brief moments, there is clarity. If they only knew how awesome that is to see from our side.