Stand Up For Mental Health Albuquerque, New Mexico Program
In Albuquerque we are partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Albuquerque Chapter. The first show we did was in October 2012, and we recently received a three-year grant from the ISORA Foundation to run a three-month Stand Up For Mental Health program each year for the next three years culminating in shows during May which is Mental Illness Awareness Month.
The plan is to train young adults over 18 to be our comics.
Here’s the article about the ISORA Grant from the NAMI Newsletter
Isora Awards NAMI-ABQ a 3 year grant for Stand Up For Mental Health by Felicia Barnum
On October 9, 2012 Albuquerque was introduced to Stand Up for Mental Health. This is a fun, stigma busting program where people diagnosed with a mental illness are trained to create and preform stand-up comedy. Mental illness often strikes an individual just as they are entering adulthood. The illness derails plans for the future, affects all relationships and creates tremendous stigma. Through the comedy training process, participants learn to take difficult and challenging events, use them to bust stigma and educate the public that people with mental illnesses are smart, talented, engaging, resilient and entertaining.
For 3 years, the Isora grant will provide funding to engage 10 new individuals each year 18 and older to be trained to preform stand-up comedy. The comedians will gain the confidence to talk about their own experiences and learn to reach out to help others coping with the devastating impact of mental illness. They will experience what can happen when individuals are given hope in the face of circumstances that appear hopeless. Best of all, their transformation will not stop with comedy, it will overflow into advocacy.
Isora’s mission is to empower individuals to make a difference in their communities. People who live with mental illness are not always portrayed positively in the media. Stand Up for Mental Healthempowers participants to break stereotypes and confront the trauma of mental illness. Through humor, they will experience stronger recoveries, improved self-esteem, confidence and hope. The comedians will stand up to their mental health challenges and show the community that there is no reason to fear an individual with mental illness.
May is Mental Illness Awareness Month. We will witness their amazing transformation at the Graduation Show every May.