Trust Hosts Stand Up for Mental Health Comedy Show
Monday’s show concluded the Trusts’ first-ever Comedy for Thought course, a 6-week programme which tackled men’s mental health through laughter.
On Monday evening more than 50 friends, family and loved ones of 10 budding comedians attended the showcase event at the Trust’s Community Stadium Hub.
The show was the conclusion of a six-week Comedy for Thought Programme which tackled men’s mental health through laughter.
The weekly Comedy for Thought sessions were delivered by Dr Maria Kempinska MBE, founder of Jongleurs Comedy Clubs, and had a focus on personal empowerment, listening, performance skills, and finding your unique comedic voice in a relaxed and trusted environment.
Whilst the participants were able to unlock their comedic style, the sessions also provided an outlet for some individuals who have been struggling with their mental health.
Hosted by Patrick Monahan, a regular on the comedy circuit, the showcase event was a roaring success. Each comedian delivered a 10-minute sketch in their own unique style, ranging from one-liners to fictional funny stories and recounts of past experiences.
Whilst comedy was at the heart of the night, the event also served as a reminder of how important it is for people to come together and check in with each other. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. 12 men a day. One man every two hours.
One of the course participants, Frank, commented, “In comedy for Thought I was put in a room with men, all going through their own personal issues. We learnt comedy together, how to use issues to make content, and how to come up with our own superpower and we talked in a safe space. Maria put together a really empowering training programme, with many activities to get us used to talking in front of everyone. I spoke openly about my journey, my male infertility and going through IVF and I made a sensitive topic ‘funny’.
“Speaking about my journey and making it light-hearted in front of 40/50 people was easier than telling my dad and brother about my issue. I’ll never forget it, and I’ll find speaking up much easier.”
Emily Donovan, Health & Wellbeing Manager at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, added, “We used comedy as a tool to start conversations and encourage men to open up about how they’re really feeling. Seeing a group of strangers come together to navigate challenges that they’re facing in their everyday lives has been really powerful. It was great to see people grow in confidence and utilise comedy to tell their story, and I’m proud of the progress that the participants made throughout the duration of the course.”
For more information about Comedy for Thought and future programmes, please contact Emily Donovan our Health & Wellbeing Manager at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust: firstname.lastname@example.org