Standing up for health

STAND UP: Janice Eygenraam (WSPN), Lee Martinez (UniSA), Chloe Loveday (Country Outback Health) and psychology student Elise Burnell.
STAND UP: Janice Eygenraam (WSPN), Lee Martinez (UniSA), Chloe Loveday (Country Outback Health) and psychology student Elise Burnell.

Most people think you have to be nuts to do stand-up comedy. However, award-winning Canadian counsellor and stand-up comic David Granirer offers it as a form of therapy.

The Whyalla Suicide Prevention Network launches the Stand Up for Mental Health program today the 10th October 2016.

In line with National Mental Health Week and World Mental Health Day with the theme of “Open Your Mind” 

Granirer, whose work was featured in the ABC Award winning documentary Crack Up is the founder of Stand Up For Mental Health, a program where people with mental illness turn their problems into comedy, then perform their acts at a showcase.

Currently he is training 7 comics from Whyalla, Port Augusta, and Port Lincoln to perform at a show in Whyalla on Friday 25 November 2016 and Port Augusta Wednesday 23 November 2016.

“Doing comedy about their condition builds participants’ self-esteem and helps reduce public stigma around mental illness,” says Granirer, who himself suffers from depression.

 “Laughing in the face of pain makes people go from despair to hope, and hope is crucial to anyone struggling with a mental illness.”

“The aim of Mental Health Week is to promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community, encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhancing the coping capacity of communities, families, individuals and increasing mental health recovery.” (Australian Government National Mental Health Commission Web Site 2016).

Entry to the shows a gold coin donation at the door, and posters are available around town for those looking for more information.

The UniSA Department of Rural Health will be facilitating the training, as they prepare to host their mental health expo on Friday.

The expo will involve a range of local organisations including: Centacare Catholic SA, Country and Outback Health, Mission Australia, Uniting Care Wesley Port Adelaide, and many more.

The Mental Health Expo will be held on the UniSA campus front lawns from 10am to 2pm.