people are saying about David's work teaching stand up comedy to people with mental
The first time that I heard about the "Stand-up for Mental Health" organization, was when I was working as a Mental Health Therapist for the Fraser Health Authority. Two of my colleagues were talking about attending an event (sponsored by Fraser Health) wherein persons with mental health issues would be presenting stand-up comedy routines. I was disappointed that I wasn't able to attend the event myself but my colleagues promised to return with all of the information.
Needless to say, they were extremely impressed and definitely touched by what they had witnessed. They spoke about the merits of the event at length and advised that I had missed something very special. It was less than a couple of months later I think when my husband came home raving about a performance that he had just attended – and low and behold he too was speaking of the Stand-up For Mental Health troop. He went on and on about how impressed he was and he decided right there and then that he would have to hire this group to conduct a workshop at his place of work; which he did and it was a raving success apparently.
Furthermore, he told me that I would be so inspired by this group that it would be a top priority for me to see one of their performances; he was so right. Words really can't describe the way I felt the night I went to the "Stand-up for Mental Health" Comedy Debut Show at the Stanley Theatre in Vancouver in 2009; I was floored. After working in the mental health realm for many years, I thought I had seen it all, I was wrong. This concept is absolute magic - so simple, yet so incredibly effective. The jokes were hilarious, the delivery was seamless and the pride and confidence of the performers was palpable.
I can say with total sincerity that I have never been as moved during a performance as I was that night. I left that venue re-thinking my entire approach to therapy and knowing that I had just witnessed one of the most evidenced based therapeutic initiatives of our time. I can't wait to see another performance when you come to town next.
Thank you again for this experience,
|Kirsteen Moore |
|I wanted to personally thank you for the time and talent you so graciously shared with us at the DBSA 2008 National Conference. The show was a personal highlight for me, and I know others have shared similar sentiments as well. I believe SO strongly in your work with Stand Up for Mental Health and will continue to do all I can to spread the word about this outstanding, empowering program.|
|Cindy Specht Vice President of Products & Programs, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)|
|Your presentation at Alternatives 2009 was awesome, as you could tell by the prolonged standing ovation and all the people who lined up to talk to you afterwards. People were really moved and inspired by the work you do, and also had some great laughs. You truly are on the cutting edge of mental health programs for recovery and public education.|
|Joseph Rogers, Executive Director, National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse|
|Your keynote at our conference had us all in stitches. It also provided some much-needed inspiration to see examples of the comics you've trained. Your work teaching comedy to consumers is truly groundbreaking. Everyone felt so empowered after your presentation as you could tell by the standing ovation.|
|Colleen Jasper, Office of Consumer Relations, Michigan Department of Community Health|
|The standing ovation said it all. Your presentation for our Astrazeneca meeting was hilarious, inspiring and uplifting, and our people loved it. The work you do teaching comedy to people with mental illness is amazing, and having you present it to us along with your stand-up comedy was a perfect way to kick off our event.|
| Mario Farino, Marketing Manager, Astrazeneca, Canada|
|Your Stand Up For Mental Health presentation and show was the highlight of our mental health forum. We not only learned a lot, but also had some great laughs! You were the perfect combination of humour and inspiration for our audience of service providers from many different agencies. Our offenders were so impressed with your performances that they would like to have you come back to the Institution and take your class. Thank you for making the First Annual Ferndale Institution Community Mental Health Forum such a success. We look forward to working with you again!!|
|Anthony M. Baldo, Assistant Warden, Interventions, Ferndale Institution|
|We've been flooded with great feedback from the comedy performance and documentary screening you did for us. People loved the way you found the humor in your mental health experiences and had us all laughing non-stop. Your work is funny and inspiring and a great way to educate the public about mental illness. Who would have thought a presentation on such a serious topic could be so much fun? |
|Donna Rheaume, Director of Communications and Public Affairs - Vinfen, Boston, MA|
|Your show was the perfect way to end the day at our conference. As you could tell by all the laughter and applause, your presentation really struck a chord with our audience. We really admired the comic's courage in talking about their mental illness through comedy. Humour is a great way to educate people about mental illness, and we could see the positive therapeutic effects for the comics as well. Feedback on our evaluation was top notch and one comment on a welcome new insight learned that illustrates the importance "pushing the envelope" of social comfort level to "break the silence" on mental illness (with humour) was insightful: IRREVERANCE!! This is powerful and important work you are doing. We all appreciate it greatly!|
|Chris Balmer M.A., Chair, Counselling Department, Camosun College Planning Committee, Healthy Minds- Healthy Campuses Conference 2009|
|We were amazed at how great your Stand Up For Mental Health presentation was. I heard our former Board chair say that this was "the most effective anti-stigma event she's ever seen"!! Lots of kudos! The comics you trained performed wonderfully, and were thrilled with their time on stage. We also had a great turnout; obviously there was a lot of interest in your program. |
|Deborah Warren, LCSW, DCSW, Director, Child, Family, & Prevention Services Alexandria Community Services Board|
|Your presentation at our AGM was hilarious and inspiring. The work you do teaching stand-up comedy to mental health consumers is remarkable, and hearing about it was a breath of fresh air. Your talk was a perfect mixture of comedy and education. We look forward to working with you again.|
|Clark MacFarlane, Acting Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association Cochrane Timiskaming Branch|
|Thank you very much for contributing to the success of our CST Annual Conference by participating in the Closing Lunch and bringing your colleagues along to join us. I am sure you were able to gather from the laughter and applause that the performances were very much appreciated. |
|Dr Trevor D. Cradduck, President, Canadian Society of Telehealth|
|We really enjoyed your presentation and comedy routine at our recent gala event. Your Stand Up for Mental Health program is truly unique and amazing in the way it allows those who are challenged with mental illness to achieve their potential and succeed in a way they never have before. Seeing examples of how consumers developed into stand up comics through your work, was very heart warming and inspirational. Your presentation was both funny and thought provoking - exactly what we had hoped for.|
|Sandra Seney, Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester - Manchester, NH|
|The show you did for us was a success beyond anything that I could have imagined. The credit goes to the project team members who brought their awesome talents and work ethics to the table to achieve the successful conclusion.|
One of the strategic goals for our CMHA Colchester East Hants Branch addresses "Community education improves awareness of mental health issues and reduces discrimination and stigmatization of individuals". As soon as I saw your show back in May, I realized that Stand Up for Mental Health would be a perfect fit for this goal.
|Geoff Alcock, Board Member, Canadian Mental Health Association, Colchester East Hants Branch|
|Thank you and your comics for the entertainment and education that you provided us. Wow, what a way to educate people! The show was great! I had many employees, including our Regional Director General and Assistant Commissioner of Coast Guard, commenting on how much they enjoyed it.|
| Charlene Mathieu, Co-Chair, RDAC, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia |
|Your presentation had us spellbound! We were amazed and inspired by your work teaching comedy to people with mental illness and how powerful it is. You were also pretty hilarious yourself. It's great to have a presentation that covers such serious subject matter and has the audience laughing their heads off. |
|Maggie Dixon, Communications & Marketing Manager, South Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre|
|It was so great to see the work you do teaching comedy to people with mental illness. What you do is truly amazing! I would love to bring your program to San Diego. I think it would be a huge benefit for our clients!|
|Angela Carrillo, MA MPA, Community Relations, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, San Diego, CA|