Director: Tara Shortt

Run Time:  50 mins  49 Sec 

Collection: HORIZON 2

Date/Time: FRI JUNE 26 6PM

Ticket Options: FREE

Documentary, Feature, Horizon Mental Health

Description: Cracking Up follows a year in the life of Stand Up For Mental Health. You’ll see a group of people who suffer the stigma of mental illness on a daily basis; strangers fear them, staring and whispering behind their backs. Many of them have survived suicide attempts, psychotic breaks and have been in and out of institutions for years. But ultimately, they are the underdogs who set out to achieve something that even they don’t believe they will be able to do… confront their demons and find humor in some of their most horrible and emotionally painful experiences.

Cracking Up features naturally gifted people from all walks of life who happen to be afflicted with mental illnesses. The comedy class offers a “safe place” where everyone in the group is free of stigma and treated with respect.

You’ll see the comics from their first time at the mic to their graduation showcase in front of a packed house! It’s funny, inspiring, and educational. You’ll come away from it with hope that recovery is possible!

About Stand Up For Mental Health: In David Granirer’s Stand Up For Mental Health course, mental health consumers turn their problems into stand up comedy, then perform their acts at conferences, treatment centers, psych wards, for various mental health organizations, corporations, government agencies, on college and university campuses, and most importantly for the general public.

The Power of Stand Up Comedy!

“We use comedy to give mental health consumers a powerful voice and help reduce the stigma and discrimination around mental illness,” says Granirer. “The idea is that laughing at our setbacks raises us above them. It makes people go from despair to hope, and hope is crucial to anyone struggling with adversity. Studies prove that hopeful people are more resilient and also tend to live longer, healthier lives.”

Granirer, who lives with depression, got the idea for Stand Up For Mental Health from watching students in his Langara College Stand-Up Comedy Clinic course. “Though Stand-Up Comedy Clinic isn’t intended as therapy, I’ve had students overcome long standing depressions and phobias, not to mention increasing their confidence and self-esteem. There’s something incredibly healing about telling a roomful of people exactly who you are and having them laugh and cheer.”

Stand Up For Mental Health trains groups throughout North America in partnership with dozens of different mental health organizations.

About Horizon Foundation Mental Health Film Festival

The Horizon Foundation’s Mental Health Film Festival is an event to build awareness and compassion for members of our community facing mental health challenges. The Foundation has hosted three film festivals drawing hundreds of people to watch films, discuss and reflect. Past events have featured documentaries highlighting issues such as U.S. veterans recovering from PTSD, youth anxiety, teen suicide and postpartum depression.

“Mental health challenges are not just a personal struggle; they are a larger public health concern,” said Horizon Foundation Senior Program Officer Tiffany Callender. “We are here because mental health shouldn’t be a hidden conversation in our community.”