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Student Testimonials

Many circumstance factored into my psychotic episode that landed me in the emergency rooms in 2005. My break included delusional thinking and fear. I did however… recover, but the memory of the event was traumatic. Learning to tell my story with humor and stigma busting honesty, was a life changing education, and support program. I have found that there are many more individuals like me. That I had managed this talent with the guidance and care from David, proved to be fun and educational. This program utilizes cutting edge technology, delivering great entertainment value with a positive message, leaving the comics, and audiences better for attending. Thank you so much allowing me to participate!

Eric Johnson, Vancouver Washington

You are inspirational. If I make any money, ever, I am going to share with Stand Up For Mental Health. That is a promise and a guarantee. I think you just changed my life.  

Salem Djembe
Meridian, Iowa

Participating as a comic for Stand Up for Mental Health was a unique and fun experience.  I have experience speaking in front of public audiences, often about my experiences as an individual living with a mental illness.  But this was different.  I was able to talk about some of the same stories in a way that seemed to be more comfortable for the audience.  I did not see shock or sympathy, as I often have when speaking.  Instead, everyone was having a good time and seemed to be more relaxed.  I was not sure that they would accept me as I used humor to describe my stories, but they did!  In fact, they were very receptive and I was able to talk about things I had never mentioned when speaking previously.  It was actually very liberating!  I would like to thank David Granirer for guiding me as I prepared to do my “bit”.  He has a great sense of humor and he “gets it”.   Humor is healthy and necessary.  Thank you, I had a great time!!!!

Lynn Kohr
Wichita, Kansas

Prior to taken David’s course, I thought that telling jokes was easy, but telling my own bipolar story and making that funny, took a lot of work which I do not think that I could have done without David’s help.  There was also a great bonding with the other members of my class.  I look forward to progressing under David’s wing.

Peter Loveland, Federal Way, WA

Doing Stand Up For Mental Health was amazing. I actually got up in front of hundreds of people and talked about (in a humorous way) being Bi-polar, Dating, Facebook and so much more! In this thirteen week class, I learned more about myself and healed so many of my own personal myths about mental illness than in thirteen years of therapy!

Stephanie Lane, Olympia WA
Program Director, Capital Clubhouse

I liked being part of Stand Up for Mental Health because it helped me to see the humor in my sometimes bumpy road of recovery.  I liked being onstage too; after the first few laughs, I began to have as much fun telling my jokes as the audience seemed to have hearing them. I liked being part of a team of comics, this team going into the forefront of stigmabusting by letting the audience hear and see real people (us) who have taken Mental Illness seriously enough to have a punch line to share about it.  What I got out of SMH was the feeling of teamwork, with the comics and the organizers.

Marion Crouse, Albuquerque, New Mexico

It is hard for me to describe what this experience did for me. It was a mountaintop experience, and accomplishment. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I guess empowering, trite though that word might be, is a good word for how it made me feel. Well, “it” didn’t make me feel empowered, or anything else, I did it to myself, if you know what I mean! Something I myself did made me feel great.  I was so proud of myself for doing it, just doing it. I don’t often (like never!) feel so purely proud of myself, without thinking thoughts like “oh, big deal, it’s not like you went out and made a million dollars or something”, or “well, they were just clapping to be nice to the pathetic mentally ill girl”. Or other self-put-downs. Actually it didn’t matter what anyone else thought or did, it was my own opinion of myself that mattered to me and I was pretty pleased with myself. All the laughing and clapping the audience did was icing on the cake, secondary to how I felt about myself. I feel like I went up a level in my journey to mental health. You know what I mean? It was a step up in self-esteem, but more than that. You should have heard my sister laughing with pleasure and excitement when she called me the next day and I told her how well it went. She was so happy for me. And I think my mom was just stunned!  Thanks so much for the opportunity to do this. I think your program is such a great one. Somehow, it gets us where we live. Thank you so much, David.

Dana Payne, Alexandria, Virginia

Having spent the last year and a half talking to different groups about Stigma I was very afraid I would not be funny, your classes and instructional material changed ALL that!!! I feel so  so…..so, EMPOWERED!!!!!! I would recomend this class to any and all , who would be thinking about this class, cannot wait to get started again!!!!!!! Changed my LIFE!!!!!!!

Wayne Schnare, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The experience that I got in SMH is one of the most positive things I have done in a long time. It gave me a chance to look at all the mental crap and rough times I went through and turn it into something that gives people a laugh and puts a smile on thier faces while at the same time helps fight the stigma. I felt like I got a chance to be myself again (with a lil’ extra baggage)! Not everyone can see the baggage…….but I know its there! Thank you for everything David!

Owen Redden, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Stand Up For Mental Health is the best thing that ever happened for me. I now have courage, CONFIDENCE and self-esteem because of the encouragement and teaching from David Granirer. Thank you David and Stand Up For Mental Health. You gave me a life I can live and have FUN doing it.

June M. Hickey, Ottawa, Ontario

Stand Up for Mental Health was the most terrifying thing I have ever done. And so far, the most rewarding. Be not afraid of who you are, who others think you are, or who you were. Instead, laugh at yourself and the world will laugh with you.

Rave Meyer, Oklahoma City, OK

It was so nice to have people laugh with me instead of at me for a change.   I thought my experiences with mental illness and recovery were FUNNY STRANGE…because of this experience I now know that it is also FUNNY FUNNY. This training has finally allowed me to feel comfortable talking about mental illness and recovery and feel comfortable making light of some of the most painful expereinces.   One thing is for sure, it is hard to suffer with a mental illness when you can laugh about the symptoms, meds, side effects, etc….

Chana Martin, Oklahoma City, OK

Thanks to Stand Up For Mental Health I feel like I can achieve any goal I make.

Robbie Englequist, New Westminster, B.C.

Stand Up For Mental Health has given me the energy and direction to turn tragedy into comedy. My confidence and self-acceptance is getting stronger. I can still do stand-up while being depressed, angry and suicidal. I don’t have to stay home and feel sorry for myself. The stage is always open no matter what mood I am in or the circumstances of the day. Comedy gives me hope.

Jennifer Steel, Burnaby, B.C.

It’s amazing, it’s awesome. I was really proud of how we all developed. We all surpassed my greatest expectations.

Carmen Gaylard, Richmond, B.C.

My head hasn’t even left the clouds yet. I think the most amazing thing about the weekend was that feeling of making people laugh on purpose I mean anyone can be funny with friends but to stand up there and deliver the stuff and have it actually work was great. Thank you for showing me I have yet another talent to add to my resume of talent. I had a great time David and would do this with you again in the future for anything, anywhere I could make it to.

Michelle Kaczmar, Thunder Bay Ontario

Just wanted to say thanks again for your Stand Up For Mental Health Program. Believe it or not, I feel more pumped up and confident than I have in a long time. I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to and I haven’t felt that way for a very long time.

Lou Marquis, Peterborough, Ontario

Thanks so much for getting us all to Saturday-it was great! Someone said I had real talent – I have never had anyone say that before!  Wow.  Your program really does make you feel empowered.

Daina Maslach, Dryden, Ontario

David Granirer is a very fine mentor. So what if he makes you rip apart your brilliant creative meanderings? So what if you are unable to put 10 lbs of humor in a 5 lb sack? Somehow he makes it all possible with patience, good humor and, yes, compassion for the writer’s sub-par material which he manages to slice and dice into something funny after all. Long live King David!

Judith Sturm, Chicago, Illinois

I’m so honored to be a three time DBSA Conference Stand-Up for Mental Health comic.  I feel so empowered up on stage! Standup comedy is a world I would never have had the opportunity to find the humor in my mental struggles if not for David Granirer.  While I’m always shaking in my boots before the show, after I’m elated with awe that I had the strength to not only to do stand-up but to talk openly and humorously about living with bipolar disorder. I’m even shocked that a few peers in the audience laughed.  Thanks Dave for letting us laugh again.

Chato Stewart, Port Charlotte, Florida

Being a part of SMH and DBSA’s Comedy Night has first and foremost taught me not to take my life as well as the negative parts of my mental illness too seriously; which is a freeing experience in which I have taken a giant leap in my recovery. It has also afforded me a new anti-stigma weapon- laughter. I can now reach out to others in a way thought taboo but actually effective in opening the much needed channels of communication between those experiencing a mental illness and those who aren’t. Besides, the little trophies we get are too cool! :)

Dawn Fifield Fort Lauderdale, Florida

There are so many reasons I took the Stand Up for Mental Health course; to challenge myself, to meet new people, to learn to laugh again, to deal with my own internalised, stigmatised feelings of shame…the list is endless, but fortunately, the list of what I got out of the class is longer and better: I was challenged and inspired, I made incredible friends, I learned to laugh easier, and I laughed so much that I even started to breath easier about everything I had experienced in my life. What an incomparable thrill, to make complete strangers laugh at things that used to upset me enormously.    Now, when I feel distraught about something, I write it down, hoping that when the storm passes, and my emotional state calms down, I will be able to write a joke about it, and share the laughter with someone else. This course & the opportunity to perform stand up has been one of the most empowering events of my life. I am forever grateful.

Eufemia Fantetti, Vancouver, B.C.