Nelson Bardon, Stand Up For Mental Health Comic

Nelson Bardon doing stand-up comedy about his experiences with schizophrenia.

Jan. 28, 2009

Cracking Up

People say laughter is the best medicine, but can it be used to treat severe mental illness? Exploring the therapy of laughter, Cracking Up provides a compelling view of how comedy can change the mind of an individual and the thoughts of a society.

Cracking Up follows the story of 11 courageous people who stand up for their mental health—literally! Using laughter as a form of therapy, counselor, comedian and author of The Happy Neurotic: How Fear and Angst Can Lead to Happiness and Success David Granirer trains these individuals who suffer from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and manic depression, to confront their problems through stand-up comedy. While learning to laugh at themselves, they get to share their stories and address public stigma with an audience that has a lot to learn about mental disorders.

Giving a face to mental illness, this documentary introduces audiences to inspiring individuals, such as Michael Warren who has both bi-polar disorder and attention deficit hyperactive disorder. Michael couldn’t speak properly until he was a teenager, but it hasnt deterred him from his dream to become a stand-up comedian. Likewise, Paul Decarie suffered traumatic injury to his brain and spine after falling off a [...] continue the story

Unbreakable Minds

Every child is born full of promise, ready to go forth into the world and meet his or her destiny. But for those diagnosed with schizophrenia in the prime of their lives, independence, acceptance, and even a place to call home usually slips beyond their grasp. Over three years, film-makers Abbey Jack Neidik and Irene Lilienheim Angelico followed three engaging young men living with mental illness. “Unbreakable Minds” captures the emotional journeys as they struggle with their inner demons and try to find their own place in a world that regards them with fear and hostility. With exceptional intimacy and honesty, these men speak about their darkest days and brightest triumphs, and take us with them to catch a vivid glimpse of what they go through and to experience schizophrenia from the inside out. Through their heroic examples, they also offer a challenge to society to smash this last taboo.

Considering Carol

Considering Carol is a brief yet insightful look into the sometimes troubled, yet often brilliant, life of schizophrenic poet come karaoke queen, Carol E Kelly. Carol, 52 years old and a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic since 18 years of age, has become a fully established local celebrity in the town of Portstewart (in Northern Ireland) through her many talents, mainly her published poems and often extravagant karaoke performances to crowds of adoring student fans. Through the recital of one of her own poems, “Waiting in the Lobby”, Carol gives us an insight into her world and how she has learned to cope with the mental illness that is schizophrenia.

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