Group confronts social stigma with humour

“When I first heard my dad had a mental illness, I thought ‘how could someone so weird get any weirder?’” - Ten-year-old Jonathan Granirer

“When I first heard my dad had a mental illness, I thought ‘how could someone so weird get any weirder?’” - Ten-year-old Jonathan Granirer

Click here to see the original story in the Ubyssey

BY FABIOLA CARLETTI
CONTRIBUTOR

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8TH, 2009

Nearly 500 people attended the two Stand Up for Mental Health comedy shows on Monday at Frederick Wood Theatre and the Totem Park Ballroom. The campus comedy day coincided with National Mental Illness Awareness Week, a campaign that aims to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Karine St-Jean stood before the microphone clutching her cue cards. Most of the audience wasn’t much older than her, and many without seats sat close by and cross-legged on the floor. The 16-year-old comic wore heart-shaped earrings, which framed her cherub cheeks, and a bright yellow shirt.

“I took this anger management class and they told us to do the square–breathing technique when we get angry,” she said. “That really pissed me off.”

The crowd erupted in laughter, showing support for St-Jean and the other comedians that highlighted the humour in a diverse list of mental illnesses.

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