Laughing Matters

Improvisation for Mental Health

When asked how Jen got into Improv /comedy at a recent secondary school Mental Health Workshop, she laughed and replied “it’s cheaper than vodka”. As a suicide survivor and someone who has once struggled with depression… using humour as a survival tool seemed like the right thing to do.

Laughing Matters is a program that empowers, educates and engages the students. Unlike a power point presentation, that has a good message but isn’t ‘loud and clear’, improvisation teaches students to communicate, listen, trust and take risks. This ‘open dialogue’ also gives students tools to over come conflict, it builds rapport and confidence all while having fun. As the workshop progresses Jen discusses what ‘is’ and the importance of mental health, the signs and symptoms of depression, the facts versus the myths of mental health, the startling statistics of youth depression and suicide and a Q & A. As a leader Jen recognizes that through improvisation, a shared human experience, students are more likely to share and ‘open up’.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.Comments have included…”really powerful message” “made me feel human” “it’s ok to laugh and cry”and “best mental health workshop ever”. Educators agree, when incorporating humour into a lesson students are eighty percent more likely to learn. Laughing Matters, Improv for Mental Health Workshops can be conducted in a classroom or auditorium setting. We are happy to work around your academic schedule and budget.

Laughter is one of the best medicines (Shoreline Beacon 04/29/2012)