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Our Wonderful Media Write Ups, TV & Radio on Comedy Courage

MEDIA 2010

May 27, 2010 interview with Shay Novack

May 27, 2010 interview with Darcy James

News 1130 - May 25-2010

MEDIA 2009
• 24Hours - First Place "The Right Stuff" Best Soirées 2009 Comedy Courage
• 24Hours - The Courageous Ones June 3, 2009 and Community Leader Awards June 3, 2009
• CTV - Comedy Courage Live from the Westin Bayshore May 27, 2009
• 1410 TALK - Live - Darcy James live with Patrick Maliha, May 03, 2009
• Mayor Dianne Watts Co-Hosts Comedy Courage April 24--2009
• SHAW - The express from Lafflines Comedy Club Live April 03-2009
• The Record - Standing Up For Laughs February 07, 2009
• The Now - Laughter for Mental Health February 03. 2009
• The Surrey Leader - Learning to look at the lighter side January 23, 2009
• Spirit of Vancouver - Call for Courageous Comedic Students January 17, 2009

MEDIA 2008
• Spirit of Vancouver - Humor Makes all the Difference for Comedy Courage Founder June 15, 2008

MEDIA 2007
• The Province - Laughing their heads on June 03, 2007
• 24Hours - The Courageous Ones May 24, 2007 - Winning First Place - Best Soirée 2007 - Philanthropy

GlobalBCTV - May 06-2007Darcy James - Comedy Courage Founder-President with Robin Stickley


MEDIA December 21, 2009

Comedy Courage Wins FIRST PLACE
Best Soirée 2009 for "The Right Stuff"

Darcy James

MEDIA June 03, 2009

The courageous ones
Wednesday June 3 - By Michael Schratter

AND


COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

JUNE 3

images/Media/24 Hours - Courageous ones - June 3 2009 - A5 (1).pdf


MEDIA May 27 - 2009

Steam Video - May 27. 2009

LIVE FROM THE WESTIN BAYSHORE VANCOUVER


MEDIA May 21, 2009

——1410 TALK——
The Afternoon Buzz

with Vale Cole & Patrick Maliha

Week Days 2pm-6pm
CLICK THE LINK FOR THE LIVE RADIO SHOW
Previously Recorded

Darcy James - Comedy Courage with Inspector Scott Thompson - VPD,
Ray Hudson - Surrey Board of Trade


MEDIA April 03, 2009

by Reporter Peter Kim on
The Express - April 03, 2009

CABLE 4

Steaming Video of  April 03 - 2009

Promoting Mental Health Wellness through Comedy Couage


Surrey Now Friday, April 24, 2009

Mayor Dianne Watts co-hosts Comedy Courage
 

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts will co-host the Comedy Courage gala fundraiser in Vancouver next month.

Local comic Darcy James is organizing the May 27 event as a way for workshop participants to overcome their mental-health issues.
James, of Surrey, helps sufferers write and deliver stand-up comedy routines for the annual dinner and showcase, which is in its sixth year.

James himself overcame severe depression with the help of a comedy-writing class. "They say that laughter is the best medicine, but no matter how funny the joke, you're not going to laugh away a diagnosis like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder," he said. "Laughing, however, is a great way to make light of these serious diseases and change how people think about them."

The May 27 event is emceed by Dawn Chubai of CityTV and Will Davis of Global Comfest 2009. Co-hosting with Watts is Anita Huberman, CEO of Surrey Board of Trade.

Tickets are available online at comedycourage.com or by calling 604-598-9200.


Watts co-hosts Comedy Courage

 

 

 
 
 
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts will co-host the Comedy Courage gala fundraiser in Vancouver next month.

Local comic Darcy James is organizing the May 27 event as a way for workshop participants to overcome their mental-health issues.

James, of Surrey, helps sufferers write and deliver stand-up comedy routines for the annual dinner and showcase, which is in its sixth year.

James himself overcame severe depression with the help of a comedy-writing class. "They say that laughter is the best medicine, but no matter how funny the joke, you're not going to laugh away a diagnosis like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder," he said. "Laughing, however, is a great way to make light of these serious diseases and change how people think about them."

The May 27 event is emceed by Dawn Chubai of CityTV and Will Davis of Global Comfest 2009. Co-hosting with Watts is Anita Huberman, CEO of Surrey Board of Trade. Tickets are available online at comedycourage.com or by calling 604-598-9200.



Read more: http://www.thenownewspaper.com/health/Watts+hosts+Comedy+Courage/2891799/story.html#ixzz14cQONrzK

MEDIA February 07, 2009

 

Standing up for laughs

Comedy Courage offers a comedy course for people with mental health issues

Alfie Lau, The Record

Published: Saturday, February 07, 2009

Darcy James knows first-hand the healing power of laughter.

When James took to the stage on July 9, 2002, he was coming to grips with being sexually abused by his psychiatrist.

"That was the day I really put myself out there," said James. "It was pretty hard and really nerve-racking, but that was until I got my first applause."

 Darcy James

The best medicine: Finding courage in comedy are, from left, Darcy James, Lyle Richardson and Billy Mitchell. Mitchell is a professional comic who will give a free, stand-up training course for those who have mental health issues. James is executive director of Comedy Courage, which offers the program. They're preparing for May's annual Laughing and Giving from the Heart Gala.

Larry Wright/THE RECORD

James realized that laughing with the crowd was good for his mental health, and he got involved with an organization, Comedy Courage, that would help others utilize the healing power of comedy.

On May 27, the sixth annual Laughing and Giving from the Heart Gala will be held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver.

Courageous comedians coming to grips with their mental health issues will perform five-minute acts.

But before the comedians can take the stage, they have to learn the fine art of comedy.

Enter professional comic Billy Mitchell, who will give a free three-month training course at Lafflines Comedy Club in New Westminster, starting Feb. 18.

"I'm really looking forward to this," said Mitchell. "For many of these people, it's about teaching them to have a light heart.

"I want to show them that laughter and comedy can be a whole mind-and-body experience."

Comedy Courage offers the free 12-week course, for a maximum of 15 participants, in a safe, supportive environment, to people with mental health issues recovering from depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other mental health diagnoses.

The goals are to build confidence, self-esteem and social skills.

Comedy Courage is the first program of its kind in Canada to teach people with mental health diagnoses and issues how to write a comedy routine about their own personal journeys to mental health wellness and deliver it before a live audience.

James, now the executive director of the non-profit group, calls himself the chief opportunity engineer.

"I know how hard it was to ask for help," he said. "I want to help others come to grips with their mental health illness, and I want to be there when they turn it all around."

Using his own life as an example, James said he was misdiagnosed on multiple occasions - he was called everything from bipolar to chronic depressive to borderline narcissistic - before the correct diagnosis of post-traumatic stress as a result of sexual assault allowed James to move forward with his life.

Comedy was one of the tools James used, and performing before an audience almost seven years ago showed him that laughing with people was a tool for healing.

"I can't believe how big this event has become," he said. "I think it might be the craziest show in Canada."

James remembers the first shows being in the ballroom at the Sandman Hotel in downtown Vancouver. But, when the crowd swelled to 400, they needed bigger facilities.

"The Westin Bayshore stepped up," said James. "And that's allowed us to raise even more money."

To date, the annual event has raised more than $350,000 in total, and this year's goal is to add another $50,000 to $75,000.

For Mitchell, teaching people who have had little or no experience with comedy is a challenge he relishes. Comedy Courage offers a comedy course for people with mental health issues

Alfie Lau, The Record

Published: Saturday, February 07, 2009

"Whenever I've taught before, it's normal for people to have neuroses," said Mitchell.

"I use laughter as one of the mechanisms for dealing with those neuroses."

And while he doesn't expect his students to become full-time comedians, he will feel a sense of pride when they hit the stage on May 27.

"There's a huge accomplishment in just being able to perform," said Mitchell. "Comedy can be very cathartic, and that may be the only time they're on stage, so I want them to enjoy it, enjoy the feeling of people laughing with you and laughing for you."

Mitchell has a distinguished pedigree, with more than two decades of making people laugh.

"I'd been a fan of stand-up since I was seven years old. In my late teens, I started hanging around Punchlines (in downtown Vancouver) and even did a little writing, but I didn't get on stage."

It would be almost 10 years before the urge to perform got the best of him.

"I tried stand-up on a dare. I got a few laughs and found it very addictive. It's immediate feedback. But, I really didn't have an 'act,' so I studied comedy writing at Langara College."

It was at Langara that Mitchell learned under mentor Mark Dennison, who recommended Mitchell to James as a teacher for this year's Comedy Courage event.

"Mark taught me everything from the art and structure of writing jokes to developing my own style," said Mitchell.

"And he told me I should get as much experience on stage as I could, and there was a stretch in the '80s where I was doing almost every open mike night in the Lower Mainland."

Now doing mostly private shows, Mitchell said his work is mostly clean and centred around word play.

As he prepares for his class of Comedy Courage students, Mitchell almost can't contain his excitement.

"It's a pretty powerful thing to watch people taking a positive step toward their own healing," he said.

"All I ask of my students is to be open to the possibility of change. Listen to Darcy's own story, and you can see the power of change. ... I can't tell you how elated I am at the opportunity to help others."

For more information, go to www.com edycourage.com. Classes at Lafflines start at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18. While a maximum of 15 people will be registered for the class, anybody who is interested is encouraged to contact Darcy James at 604-598-9200 or darcy@comedycourage.com


MEDIA February 03, 2009

Laughter for mental healthDarcy James

Darcy James (from left), Lyle Richardson and Billy Mitchell aim to spread the healing power of laughter through Comedy Courage, a Surrey-based organization that offers a free 12-week course in comedy to people with mental health issues.  The next course starts Feb. 18 and culminates with a performance at the "Laughing and Giving from the Heart" gala event in May at a Vancouver Hotel.


Free course helps people come to grips with issues

Alfie Lau, Special to Surrey Now-Published: Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Darcy James knows first-hand the healing power of laughter.

When James took to the stage on July 9, 2002, he was coming to grips with being sexually abused by his psychiatrist.

"That was the day I really put myself out there," said James. "It was pretty hard and really nerve-wracking but that was until I got my first applause."

James realized that laughing with the crowd was good for his mental health and he got involved with an organization, Comedy Courage, that would help others utilize the healing power of comedy.

On May 27, the sixth annual Laughing and Giving from the Heart Gala will be held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver. Courageous comedians coming to grips with their mental health issues will perform five-minute acts.

But before the comedians can take the stage, they have to learn the fine art of comedy.

Enter professional comic Billy Mitchell, who will give a free three-month training course at Lafflines Comedy Club in New Westminster, starting Feb. 18.

"I'm really looking forward to this," said Mitchell. "For many of these people, it's about teaching them to have a light heart. I want to show them that laughter and comedy can be a whole mind and body experience."

Comedy Courage offers the free 12-week course, for a maximum of 15 participants, in a safe, supportive environment, to people with mental health issues recovering from depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental health diagnoses.

The goals are to build confidence, self-esteem and social skills.

Comedy Courage is the first program of its kind in Canada to teach people with mental health diagnoses and issues how to write a comedy routine about their own personal journeys to mental health wellness and deliver it before a live audience.

James, now the executive director of the non-profit Comedy Courage, calls himself the "chief opportunity engineer" of the Surrey-based organization.

"I know how hard it was to ask for help," he said. "I want to help others come to grips with their mental health illness and I want to be there when they turn it all around."

Using his own life as an example, James said he was misdiagnosed on multiple occasions -- he was called everything from bi-polar to chronic depressive to borderline narcissistic -- before the correct diagnosis of post-traumatic stress as a result of sexual assault allowed James to move forward with his life.

Comedy was one of the tools James used and performing before an audience almost seven years ago showed him that laughing with people was a tool for healing.

"I can't believe how big this event has become," he said. "I think it might be the craziest show in Canada."

James remembers the first shows being in the ballroom at the Sandman Hotel in downtown Vancouver, but when the crowd swelled to 400, they needed bigger facilities.

"The Westin Bayshore stepped up," said James. "And that's allowed us to raise even more money."

To date, the annual event has raised more than $350,000 in total and this year's goal is to add another $50,000 to $75,000.

For Mitchell, teaching people who have had little or no experience with comedy is a challenge he relishes.

"Whenever I've taught before, it's normal for people to have neuroses," said Mitchell. "I use laughter as one of the mechanisms for dealing with those neuroses."

And while he doesn't expect his students to become full-time comedians, he will feel a sense of pride when they hit the stage on May 27.

"There's a huge accomplishment in just being able to perform," said Mitchell. "Comedy can be very cathartic and that may be the only time they’re on stage, so I want them to enjoy it, enjoy the feeling of people laughing with you and laughing for you.” Mitchell has a distinguished pedigree, with more than two decades of experience making people laugh.

“I’d been a fan of stand-up since I was seven years old.  In my late teens, I started hanging around Punchlines (in downtown Vancouver) and even did a little writing, but I didn’t get on stage.

It would be almost 10 years before the urge to perform got the best of him.

“I tried stand-up on a dare.  I got a few laughs and found it very addictive.  It’s immediate feedback.  But, I r3eally didn’t have an ‘act,’ so I studied comedy writing at Langara College.”

I was at Langara where Mitchell learned under mentor Mark Dennison, who recommended Mitchell to James as a teacher for this year’s Comedy Courage event.  Now doing mostly private shows, Mitchell said his work is mostly clean and centered around word play.

As he prepares for his class of Comedy Courage students, Mitchell almost cann’t contain his excitement.

“It’s a pretty powerful thing to watch people taking a positive step toward their own healing,’ he said.  “All I ask of my students is to be open to the possibility of change.  Listen to Darcy’s own story and you can see the power of change…. I can’t tell you how elated I am at the opportunity to help others.”


MEDIA January 23, 2009

Learning to look at the lighter sideDarcy James

"Laughter is an instant vacation."

It's a quote of actor/comedian Milton Berle's that Darcy James likes to borrow – mostly because he believes it to be a truth.                                                    

About seven years ago, James decided to use comedy to take a holiday from his own lifetime of troubles.

He had spent the decades prior spiralling into a hole that grew darker when he was 19, and his religious family spurned him because of his sexual preference. Then, when he finally sought help for his abandonment issues more than 10 years later, his psychiatrist prescribed him potent anti-depressants, and sexually assaulted him. Subsequent doctors diagnosed him with myriad illnesses and prescribed a plethora of anti-psychotic and other medications which only made him feel worse. The pit he was in seemed bottomless.

Then one morning James woke up and decided he needed to change his outlook.

"Basically, I was just tired of crying," James, now 49, recalls.

He took a comedy writing course. And he wrote about what he knew – his own life and his experiences with mental health issues.

It was July 9, 2002 when he took to the stage at a small club on Commercial Drive in Vancouver to try out his material.

"I told my same story, only through the looking glasses of humour and I couldn't believe it ... I was clapped at, cheered for my courage."

After being approached by the Canadian Mental Health Association and a comedic teacher hoping to help others with mental health issues, James saw an opportunity to organize an annual fundraiser.

The Surrey resident is the founder of Comedy Courage, a national non-profit group which for the past five years has been putting on a gala dinner and showcase to empower those dealing with mental illness and give the public a better understanding of the often-misunderstood topic. This year's comedy show is planned for May 27 at the spectacular Westin Bayshore, Vancouver.

Comedy Courage also offers stand-up comedy classes and students are encouraged to perform at the gala spring event. Participants are now being sought for the next round of training, which begins Feb. 18. The free course is for people with mental health diagnoses or issues. It's taught by professional comic Billy Mitchell at Lafflines Comedy Club in New Westminster. It runs two hours per week for three months.

James says the resulting laughter is valuable therapy for everyone involved.

"You're nervous before you go up, then you get your first applause and boom, you're off," he says, adding feedback from students is always positive. "They get a feeling of 'I'm not a loser.' They're not beating themselves up as much. It's pretty hard to be depressed when you're writing comedy."

James also hopes the openness and laughter will help reduce the stigma attached to illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and psychosis.

"People with mental health issues are a valuable part of our community. They're not losers."

 

Those interested in the classes can download an application at www.comedycourage .com, call Darcy James at 604-598-9200 or e-mail darcy@comedycourage.com

 

sreynolds@surreyleader.com

 


MEDIA January 17, 2009

Call for Courageous Comedic Students for Canada’s Largest Comedy Benefit Concert in Support of Mental Health

(January 17, 2009)

Comedy Courage is seeking courageous comedic students with mental heath diagnoses or issues to apply for a FREE 3 MONTH COMEDIC TRAINING COURSE culminating in a gala fundraiser showcase performance.

Classes will be led by renowned professional comic Billy Mitchell, at Lafflines Comedy Club in New Westminster. A maximum of 15 participants will be accepted for the 2009 program. Training consists of one 2hr afternoon class per week for a three month period beginning in mid-February. 

The 6th Annual Laughing and Giving from the Heart Gala will be held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel Vancouver, May 27, 2009 where the courageous comedians showcase their talent.  Major Sponsors include the Precision Media, The Westin Bayshore Hotel, Lafflines Comedy Club, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Staples, Sandman Hotel Group, The Vancouver Board of Trade and the Surrey Board of Trade.

Comedy Courage is the first program of its kind in Canada to teach people with mental health diagnoses and issues how to write a comedy routine about their own personal journeys to wellness, and deliver it before live audience! What began as a slow growing dream has turned into Canada's largest Comedy Benefit Concert in support of Mental Health Wellness and our Mental Health Communities. Comedy Courage was granted a National Non-Profit Status and Provincial Non-Profit status to raise funding for mental health wellness.

"Comedy Courage seeks to provide comedic training and public venues for people to share their experiences about the lighter side of living with mental health diagnoses. Portraying these challenges from a humorous perspective lessens the effect of the stigma and helps empower the individual. It also achieves our goals of increasing public awareness about the challenges of mental health and what can be accomplished by those of us who live with mental health issues.”

Comedy Courage is a Surrey based company and a proud member of both the Vancouver Board of Trade and the Surrey Board of Trade.

APPLICATIONS are on line at WWW.COMEDYCOURAGE.COM

FOR THE APPLICATION

PDF/2009/ApplicationforStudent-Performer-2009.pdf

For Further information contact Founder Darcy James  604-598-9200darcy@comedycourage.com


MEDIA June 15, 2008

Humour makes all the difference for
Comedy Courage founder

 

By Darcy James - June 2008—Sounding Board


In 1993, when I was 33, I was abused by a psychiatrist that I had gone to in order to seek help for personal mental health issues. I tell you this story because I want you to understand what led me to become Canada’s first "Mental Health Consumer/Stand Up Comic" and how I discovered the healing power of laughter.Darcy James


I did not want to cry anymore and I realized that I needed to change my outlook. So, using humour, I began to write about the challenges I had experienced with my own personal mental health issues. I eventually took the stage in a small club on Commercial Drive in July of 2002 and told the story of my abuse, filtered through the looking glass of humour. To my amazement, the crowd laughed and cheered me for me and for my courage and my mental health story. What amazed me even more is that I was feeling better inside.


After this, I arranged to meet with a long-time friend and associate, Andrea Gaglardi, in her downtown Vancouver Sandman Hotel. I wanted to secure the hotel ballroom for a comedy fundraiser event. Andrea simply said, "Okay, Darcy, as long as it is big." The first Comedy Courage Benefit Concert, held in May of 2004, was a roaring success that generated nation-wide news coverage.


We have had four successful generations of courageous comics at our annual Comedy Courage fundraiser with diagnoses ranging from bi-polar, severe depression, anxiety, agoraphobia (fear of open places and people) and schizophrenia. Since 2005, we have held classes at Lafflines Comedy Club in New Westminster where students learn on an actual stage how to write and deliver a comedic routine on the journey to mental health wellness.


In four short years, I have raised in excess of $350,000, which I have re-directed right back into the mental health community. I am proud to say we are Canada’s largest comedy benefit concert in support of mental health.


On May 6, 2008, I was notified that the Registrar of Companies in Ottawa approved our national charity number so that Comedy Courage can continue spreading its mission to raise awareness and break stigmas about mental health right across Canada.


As founder, I would like to invite British Columbians and Canadians to come out to this year’s showcase on Friday, June 20, 2008 at Lafflines Comedy Club in New Westminster, B.C.


Ticket info and the line-up for this year’s Comedy Courage can be found at www.comedycourage.com.


MEDIA 2007


MEDIA June 03, 2007

Sunday, June 3, 2007
By David Spanner - Our Culture

“If you tell your story and you’re in an angry, poor-me-state, people treat you like you’ve got the plague — ‘Get Away from me, you’ve got a mental illness.’ You Can tell the same truth through humour.  You’re lifting the load so people are not afraid of it.”

Darcy James — founder of Comedy Courage

Laughing their heads on

A group for comics with ‘mental health issues’ explores the healing power of humour.

Funny that comedy is seldom taken seriously.  Life is serious business, we’re told, with society’s sombre, dignified personas earning respect, be it in politics or the arts.

“That’s encouraged even if you’re boring and depressing.’ Says Vancouver funny woman Gina Lantos.  “They say, ‘Don’t make a spectacle of yourself.”

Lantos, though, was part of a recent comedy spectacle at the Westin Bayshore, featuring students of Vancouver Comedy Courage, which trains people with “mental health issues” to do standup for their rights, and their health.

Gina Lantos and Brent Reid are part of Comedy Courage, a program that has enable both of them to use comedy in their personal struggles for their personal stuggles with depression.      Jon Murray - The Province

The class clown is rarely the class president.  Movie comedies almost never win Oscars.  Jim Carrey sets aside his considerable gifts for comedy to see recognition for his lesser gifts for drama.

Although comedy’s social status may rank a notch beneath drama’s, there have always been those who see the importance of comedy, realizing that it’s difficult for someone to hate you if they’re laughing with you — from standup comic Lenny Bruce lambasting social hypocrisy to today’s graffiti artists humoursly altering a billboard.

Along with those who say comedy is good for our society there are growing numbers who say it is also good for our health.  In the Late 1970s, writer Norman Cousins, hospitalized with a debilitating arthritis, “Made the joyous discovery” that Marx Brothers comedies were doing more for him than injections.  Soon, laughter’s proponents were vowing it decreases blood pressure, boosts the immune system and triggers painkiller endorphins.  This new-found respect for laughter prompted everything from “laughing clubs” in India to Comedy Courage in Vancouver.

“It’s about stigma,” says Darcy James, who founded Comedy Courage in 2003.  “If you tell your story and you’re in an angry, poor-me-state-, people treat you like you’ve got the plague — ‘Get Away from me, you’ve got a mental illness.’ You can tell the same truth through humour.  You’re lifting the load so people are not afraid of it.”

Comedy Courage has a range of activities, including a website where you can see the students in action (comedycourage.com), comedy classes taught by professional jester Patrick Maliha and public events such as the showcase at the Westin Bayshore.

Brent Reid grew up in Regina and Surrey, loving comedy, especially the old-timers such as Jackie Gleason and Don Rickles.  It was difficult for Reid to find much offence in Rickle’s use of “hockey puck’ as an insult term, considering Reid’s biggest comic influence was his hockey-playing grandfather, former Boston Bruin Mel Hill who earned the nickname “Sudden Death” after scoring three overtime winners in one 1939 playoff series.

“How could I find Don Rickles offensive” Says Reid.  “I grew up with my grandfather.  He had a mouth like a trooper.”

After finishing high school in 1980 Reid worked for a moving company for 20 years.  He also found himself in a battle with manic depression.

Gina Lantos grew up in Hungary, moving to Canada in 1985, eventually settling in Burnaby with her husband and three children.  Lantos did various jobs before returning to school to become a family counsellor.  She also found herself in a battle with, among other things, depression.

“It’s like being dead while you’re still alive,’ she says.  And it took its toll on family and friendships.  “I used to get depressed about being depressed,’ says Lantos.  “I thought it was something I should have under control.’

While there is no cure-all for depression, ultimately Reid and Lantos came through.  For Reid it hasn’t returned since he found a medication that works for him eight years ago (“I went thought quite a few” he says.  Lantos dealt with depression through medication and “positive lifestyle,” including dieting, dancing and …..comedy.

Both had often been told they’re funny, so when they heard about Comedy Courage, they signed on.

Maliha says Reid and Lantos are naturals.  “Everybody thinks comedy is easy,’ he says.  “The truth of it is anybody can tell jokes but very few can make you laugh.’

He encourages the students to use their lives as material.  Here’s a personal bit from Reid’s routine; “I went in the hospital.  They gave me this Haldol Stuff.  It makes your lip hang down and you tongue hang out.  They bring me a bowl of soup and I had a $40 dry-cleaning bill.

Lantos sees an upside in her experience with depression.  “You fall apart, but if you use it in a positive way, it’s a chance fore restructuring transformation.

And Comedy Courage is a part of that process.

“Patrick gave me a list of amateur comedy clubs,’ says Reid.  “I’m going to do that.  It’s fun making people laugh.’

Comedy has become important to Lantos too.

“First of all I discovered yes, I am funny,’ she says.  “My son came to the show and said, “Thank God you were hilarious.  I thought I was going to have to pretend you’re funny.’

When you laugh, you cannot be depressed.  It’s impossible. When you’re depressed, you can’t find anything funny.


MEDIA May 24, 2007

The courageous ones

By MICHAEL SCHRATTER
— Winning FIRST PLACE Best Vancouver Soireé Philanthropy
The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver - DECEMBER 30, 2007


With the help of new medical knowledge, a collective awareness and rapid societal change, the human condition and its multitude of variations have truly begun to shed their stigmas. But if there ever was an affliction that stood strong in a foundation of fear and ignorance, fighting against acceptance and understanding, mental illness is it. We may no longer be burning them at the stake or lobotomizing them into silence, darcy jamesbut we still see it to be reasonable to allow the mentally ill to suffer homeless on the dirty streets, shunned by everyone except for the occasional rat or health care worker. How cruel a fate to be sick with a disease that can not only rob you of your ability to share a common reality with your fellow man, but also requires you to remain fearful and silent in your suffering, for not to do so risks exposure and ostracization.

Left to Right at the Westin Bayshore, Vancouver:
Comedy Courage Founder & Comedian - Darcy James, Comedic Student Angie Daybell, Comedic Mentor/Instructor Patrick Maliha.


Last week Comedy Courage had it’s 4th annual event, with all proceeds going towards the Mind Foundation of BC, a foundation that raises funds for the BC Schizophrenia Society. The Laughing and Giving from the Heart Gala brought generous patrons out to the Westin Bayshore Hotel to enjoy fine cuisine, bid on live and silent auctions, and then enjoy a bit of dessert while laughing at people recovering from mental illness. Yes, you read correctly, gala guests were encouraged to laugh at the comedic stories and tales of eight amateur comedians, all of which have suffered from mental illness at one time or another.

 

Gary Glacken Executive Director BC Schizophrenia Society

John L. Daly - Senior Report Global BC, TV -Comedy Courage Host and MC
 

With their mantra, “Psychosis sucks, humour heals,” comedic students were mentored through a 12-week program by professional comic Patrick Maliha. The course teaches people with mental health diagnoses how to write a comedy routine about their own personal journeys to wellness, and deliver it before a live audience at the gala fundraiser. You couldn’t pay me enough to do a stand-up routine infront of several hundred people, and you’d literally have to put a gun to my head if you wanted me to publicly reveal my darkest secrets. How these brave souls found the courage to do what they did is truly admirable. Comedy Courage understands that the stigma and misunderstanding of mental illness is the problem. The question is, do you?

 Darcy James


May 21, 2007

Interview with Darcy James - Founder Comedy Courage


May 07, 2007

Interview with
John L. Daly, Global TV
Darcy James - Comedy Courage Founder-President

Click on Link to Play Back Audio News Cast
John L. Daly & Darcy James


May 06-2007 Interview with

Robin Stickley


Patrick Maliha - Comedy Courage Mentor/Instructor
Darcy James - Comedy Courage Founder-President

Click on Link to Play Back Video News Cast
Patrick Maliha & Darcy James


April 16, 2007

Comedy fundraiser explores
humour in mental health

By: Patricia Morrison

Imagine you’re struggling with a major mental health diagnosis: depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. The illness impacts your economic status, your well-being, your entire life. Would your first impulse be to get up on stage and poke fun at your mental health issues in front of a group of strangers as a form of therapy?


Not exactly, right?

It wasn’t Shay Novack’s first impulse, either. With a history of depression and panic attacks, she has attempted suicide four times. The last thing on her mind was the thought of becoming a comedienne.


At the recommendation of her psychiatrist, Novack reluctantly applied to Comedy Courage, a unique 12-week program that teaches people from the local community living with mental health issues to develop and deliver stand-up comedy based on their own personal experiences. The program builds confidence, self-esteem, and social skills for the participants and raises awareness of mental health issues.


Novack joined Comedy Courage last year as one of their comics. "Since I’ve been writing comedy, I don’t feel as depressed," Novack says from the dark interior of Lafflines Comedy Club where classes take place. "How can I be depressed as I’m always trying to write something funny?"


With its black walls and black-painted windows, Lafflines seems an unlikely place to combat depression. But it’s working — since joining the program, Novack has performed stand-up routines at various venues and plans to join the courageous comics again this year at the Laughing and Giving from the Heart Gala Dinner and Showcase, presented by Coast Capital Savings, on Wednesday, May 23 in Vancouver. The Gala, Canada’s first and largest comedy benefit in support of mental health, hopes to donate $50,000 to the BC Schizophrenia Society.


"We’re thrilled to be the presenting sponsor of this year’s Gala," says Kate O’Brien, marketing project manager for Coast Capital Savings and member of the Comedy Courage advisory board. "Comedy Courage is an amazing program that helps individuals cope with adversity through laughter and humour. The annual Gala is a huge success, as the courageous comics put on an amazing performance."


For Novack, the best part of the Gala and the entire Comedy Courage experience is the personal growth it provides, "The most fulfilling part is embracing everything about myself and being able to get up on stage and talk about it.”



Comedy helps people with mental illness

New training course starting at
By Lori Pappajohn
Record Reporter
January 13, 2007

HUMOUR: Patrick Maliha is leading a new Comedy Courage course at Lafflines, using stand-up comedy to help people deal with mental illnesses.


This may sound odd, but it is true: if you suffer a mental health issue, you are being sought to learn stand-up comedy.

 Comedy Courage is seeking courageous people with mental health diagnoses or issues to apply for a free, three-month comedic training course culminating in a gala fundraiser showcase performance.

Classes will be led by professional comic Patrick Maliha, at Lafflines Comedy Club at the corner of Columbia and Fourth streets.

A maximum of 15 participants will be accepted for the 2007 program.

Training consists of one-to-two afternoon classes per week for a three-month period beginning in mid-February, states a Comedy Courage press release.

Darcy James (also known as Darcy James Goral), who founded Comedy Courage, says humour is a wonderful tool to help a person deal with mental health issues.

He should know.

James suffered for years from mental illness, including severe depression.

One day James woke up and said enough was enough. James figured that the best way to stop crying about his life was to start laughing about it. So he enrolled in a comedy writing course.
It helped change his life.

Now all that was painful and heartbreaking has become fodder for his jokes - fodder for the medicine that works - laughter.

You can call it a type of reframing, says James. Instead of crying, you laugh.

Comedy Courage participants have varied from those suffering anxiety and depression to those living with schizophrenia.
Comedy Courage seeks to:

• Reduce the stigma surrounding mental health diagnoses.

• Show that people with mental illness are capable, and do overcome their challenges.

• Give people with mental illness the courage to take risks and make positive life changes.

• Build confidence and self-esteem for those with mental illness.

• Provide positive role models for the mental health community and society.

"My biggest passion is seeing the smiles on people's faces and seeing lives change," said James.

"One participant had not left her house for seven years, unless she absolutely had to. At the end of a session, she stood up and did a comedy routine. It takes great courage for a comedic student to do stand-up comedy, let alone put their mental health on public display."

Says James: "Humour heals. My life journey brought me to this healing point and I want to share it with the world."

Maliha said "that a woman who had twice been institutionalized for suicide attempts, took the Comedy Courage workshop and now does stand-up comedy.

"No matter what your fears, you can achieve great and wonderful things," said Maliha, adding that the workshops provide a safe and supportive environment.

Comedy Courage notes that Coast Capital Savings credit union is once again the presenting sponsor of the gala fundraiser where the comedians showcase their talent.

Hosted by Global B.C. TV's John L. Daly, the fourth annual Laughing and Giving from the Heart gala will be held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver May 23.

Proceeds from the gala go to the Mind Foundation of B.C. and the B.C. Schizophrenia Society.

Information from Comedy Courage notes that it is the first program of its kind in Canada to teach people with mental health issues how to write a comedy routine about their journeys and deliver it to a live audience.
 

Apply at www.comedycourage.com.
 

For info, contact Darcy James Goral at 604-598-9200 or darcy@comedycourage.com.
published on 01/13/2007


MEDIA 2006


Documentary explores
Comedy Courage stories

By Lori Pappajohn

Record Reporter

The woman in the documentary is being brutally honest. She struggles with mental illness. It's not easy on her children, and she knows it.

"It's reality and it hurts me. _ It's painful," she confides.

The woman is in a workshop where people learn to turn their mental illness traumas and challenges into comedy - where they learn to laugh at life and see the lighter side.

So she gives it a try. She has written a joke about her life - and she shares it with the others:

"I feel sorry for my kids. Both of them had to parent me. When I get married and have children, they will be grandparents."

The other workshop participants laugh. They can identify with her. They are part of the Comedy Courage documentary, filmed at a Comedy Courage workshop held last year at the Canadian Mental Health Association's Simon Fraser Branch offices in Sapperton. The documentary premiered at the association's annual general meeting last month.

Ami Catriona, who produced and directed the documentary, said it was wonderful watching the participants transform during the course of the workshop.

Participants varied from those suffering anxiety and depression to those living with schizophrenia.

"The people were dealing with stigmas and prejudice and you saw them become completely empowered."

New Westminster comic Kimberly Beaudoin taught the free, 12-week course, helping people explore their emotions, put them into words, form jokes and stand up and tell them.

Catriona notes that "by using their own personal experiences and a tremendous amount of courage, they hope to change the way people look at mental illness, and prove that laughter might just be the best medicine. Darcy James

"Currently, it's estimated that one in three British Columbians suffer with various forms of mental illness but, because of the stigma attached, many never seek help. Comedy Courage is the attempt to triumph over that stigma."

Rodney Baker, executive director for the Simon Fraser Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association points out in the documentary that the author of The Road Less Travelled said everyone is mentally ill.

2005 Gala Performance - Vancouver, BC

"It's just a question of how much," said Baker.

Comedy Courage workshops, founded by Darcy James Goral, seek to:

Reduce the stigma surrounding mental health diagnoses.

Show that people with mental illness are capable, and do overcome their challenges.

Give people with mental illness the courage to take risks and make positive life changes.

Build confidence and self-esteem for those with mental illness.

Provide positive role models for the mental health community and society.

For more information, see the website www.comedycourage.com.

published on 10/18/2006

 


LANGLEY TIMES

— LAUGHTER —
Helps Mental Illness
Comedy Courage Shines Light
in Dark Places

KRISTYL CLARK — Reporter —
The Langley Times • Sunday, June 04, 2006

   Once upon a time, those who showed signs of having a mental illness were locked away in white padded rooms, where they were sterilized and drugged into a vegetative state.


   Those who were able to avoid living in a mental institution were forced to keep silent about their illness in fear of isolation and abandonment from friends and family. Unfortunately, this is not a fairy tale that happened long ago, in some far away land.
 

   Although very few are locked away now for hearing voices, feeling sad or fat, many live in silence with their illness in fear of being ostracized from society. Although I'm 24, I only found out a few years ago that my own father has been living with schizophrenia for the past 20 years. Although I only see him a few times a year, it wasn't hard to see that he wasn’t' like my friends' dads.


   He'd often phone me up two or three times a day to talk about random topics, often not making any sense at all. As strange as it may sound, I was actually relieved when I found out that he had been ill all those years. I could no longer be mad at him for his strange behaviour or embarrassed by his antics, now that I knew it had never been his fault.


   But like my family, I kept silent about his illness, fear the judgment I'd receive for having a Schizophrenic father. Recently, I had the pleasure of attending one of Canada’s largest benefit concerts in support of mental health. It was held at the convention Centre in Langley.

   Called "Laughing and Giving from the Heart" it showcased stand-up comedy performed by the participants of a group called Comedy Courage.
 

   Comedy Courage is an innovative comedic training program for individuals living with a mental illness. It helps them to achieve the confidence to step onstage in front of a room full of people, to make light of their diagnosis.
 

   Schizophrenia, agoraphobia, depression... you name it, they have it! We are taught as young children that we should look away instead of pointing out ones problems, but Comedy Courage doesn’t want the public to look away.
 

   They want the world to pay close attention and see that a mental illness does not define an individual. Once the Comics began their routine I realized the strong effect that comedy has. It is well known that laughter is the best medication. I just never realized until that night just how effective it can be.

   A few weeks prior to the event, I met with Barbra Coates, one of the comics. She has lived the majority of her life in fear, suffering agoraphobia. Sitting on a park bench in Douglas Park she seemed timid and meek. Never in a million years could I envision her standing up in front of hundreds of people, telling jokes about what its like to be afraid to walk down the street. Yet she did it and she was fabulous.

   Through comedy she was able to transform from being fearful and shy to a confident, savvy woman who commands the attention of the entire room.
 

   As for my dad, I am glad that I'm no longer in the dark about his illness. Knowing about it has helped me better understand him, allowing us to build a new relationship based on honesty and compassion.

Whether it's through comedy or just talking openly and honestly, the negative stigma of mental illness can be broken, one voice at a time.


LANGLEY TIMES

— LAUGHTER —
Still The Best Medicne

KRISTYL CLARK — Reporter —
The Langley Times • Firday, May 12, 2006

A group of courageous souls are battling the stigma of mental health diagnoses, one chuckled at a time.

Darcy James

Front Left to Right - Rick Sands, Barbara Coates,  Robert Thompson, Darcy James, Andy Hryszowy.
Back - George Roshko "Corporate & Private Sponsor - Spa Utopia"

Comedy Courage comedians will take the stage in Laughing and Giving From the Heart at Langley’s Coast Hotel on Wednesday, May 17 to raise funds for Ishtar Transition Housing Society.


They are the talented participants of Comedy Courage a innovative program that provides comedic training and public venues for people to share the lighter side of living with mental health diagnoses.

On May 17 they will perform their stand-up routines on stage at the Langley Coast Hotel and Convention Centre for their 3rd annual gala dinner and showcase Laughing and Giving from the Heart.

This year, 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to Ishtar transition Housing Society. A silent auction will generate additional revenue for the charity.

Ishtar's executive director, Dorothy McKim, said they are planning to use the funds for an innovative anger management program for men. The annual cost of the program is $42,570.00

“Comedy Courage's approach of education and training for those with mental health issues to discuss and express their experience and challenges by employing stand-up comedy is both innovative and empowering” said McKim.

The mastermind behind Comedy Courage is Darcy James Goral, a man who is living proof that having a mental illness shouldn't stop anyone from living an enriching life.

The trick, he says, is getting others to focus on the person, not the illness.

“Say you have a new beautiful car and you get a big scratch on it. That scratch is all everyone is likely to focus on. The same goes for having a mental illness, when you have it it's all people seem to see,” said Goral.

It is Goral's goal to show the world that a mental illness is only a small part of the person.

For Goral, it all began one day when he woke up realizing that he had been wallowing over his mental health diagnoses and issues for 10 years. That morning he decided to break the cycle and prove to the world that even with a mental illness, one is capable of doing great things for the community.

Having a passion for comedy, Goral signed himself up for a comedic writing class in 2002.

“I did not know a thing about laughing or writing, so I wrote about me and the challenges I had with my own mental health issues,” said Goral.

Once he fine-tuned his material, he hit the stage of a small club on Commercial Drive.

“Lo and behold, I was cheered and applauded for my courage to do stand-up comedy on my real life experiences in mental health namely my mental health, “said Goral.

After he began to make a name for himself in the comedy scene, he was approached by a comedic teacher and the Canadian Mental Health Association to help others with real mental health diagnosis and issues through his experience. He saw a great opportunity to do a major fundraiser.

The first thing he realized was that he needed a place to do the show, which he found a Lafflines Comedy Club in New Westminster.

On April 22, several of the participants, many of whom are from the Langley area, gathered at a bench in Douglas Park to share their heart-felt experiences with the program.
Among the group sat Barbara Coates, an attractive soft-spoken women in her 40s who has lived in Langley most of her life. Coates revealed that she has Agoraphobia, causing her to have frequent panic attacks. She said she grew tired of living every moment of her day in fear prompting her to give Comedy Courage a chance.

“I didn't have any desire to become a comic but was urged from a friend to give it a try.' Said Coates.

“My illness has been a problem for so many years, that I figured something good had to come out of it… I really have to believe that all this that I'm suffering from hasn't been for nothing.”

Since joining the program Coates has come out of her shell and has made several close friends, including Langley resident Rick Sands.

Sands has been making people laugh all his life, but the laughter stopped when he was diagnosed as being bi-polar in his early 30s and experienced isolation when he was cut-off from friends and family.

Sands hopes that his stand-up act will change people's minds about mental illness.



“When I walk down the street I want to be acknowledged as being the funny guy, not the crazy one.
“Hopefully people will see that we are ordinary people and that one day we'll get rid of the stigma.'

Comedy Courage doesn't end with the Show. Afterwards the showcase of “Courageous Comics” will continue to perform at public events, conferences, treatment centres, and functions throughout the summer.

The Coast Hotel and Convention Centres is at 20393, Fraser Hwy. Tickets cost $150.

All purchase for individual tickets, tables and donations will reflect a 100% charitable tax receipt.
For information visit www.comedycourage.com or contact Goral at 604-598-9200.


LangleyAdvance

Comedy cracks stigma
of mental illness

Friday May 12, 2006
Langley residents who suffer
from mental illnesses are
laughing their way to healing

By Angela Wiebe awiebe@langleyadvance.com

They say laughter is the best medicine, but who really needs a doctor when you’ve got a comedy coach instead?

darcy james
A group of participants from the third annual Comedy Courage even came together for a laugh at Douglas Park.
From Left:
Ishtar Transition Housing Society executive director Dorothy McKim, Comedy Courage president Darcy James Goral, and two comedy students Georgene Waltham and Any Hryszowy.

This was the approach that former Langley resident Darcy James Goral took in the spring of 2002 when he ventured into a writing course in comedy after enduring 10 years of abuse and misdiagnoses of mental illness.

After growing up in an oppressive Jehovah’s Witness family, losing his mom at the age of 19, and being shunned by his family after the discovery of his homosexuality, Goral went looking for some help.

 Goral was first referred to a Vancouver psychiatrist in 1992 and immediately prescribed a powerful antidepressant known to cause psychotic outbursts.

Six months in the drug therapy program, Goral was sexually assaulted by his psychiatrist.  While he left the doctor and the drug, Goral’s body had grown so attached to the drug that he fell into episodes of mania that landed him into the emergency wards of Langley Memorial Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital about 50 times.

“I was always being told and treated like I was a child,” he said.

After spending the next decade going through drug after drug and psychiatrist after psychiatrist, as well as fighting for justice and compensation over his rape in 1993, Goral decided he had had enough.

“It all started when I woke up one day realizing I had been crying for 10 years solid over my mental health diagnoses and issues, recognizing that I needed to change my outlook” he said.

While going through the comedy course, he wrote and talked about the one thing he knew really well – mental health challenges.

“I just got up on stage and started talking about my mental health issues” he said, “and I was cheered”.

“With mental health, the diagnosis is everything,” Goral added.  “Everybody always focused on my diagnosis, not my talent.”

 Through comedy, Goral found an outlet where he could express his talents rather than just the stigma of mental health problems.

His story was told in The Province newspaper in 2002 and he was quickly approached by the Canadian Mental Health Association to help other with mental illnesses.

He realized then that he wanted to share his newfound therapy with others, but also make it an affair to remember.

This Wednesday May 17, will mark the third annual Comedy Courage gala event, where a class of comedy students – all suffering from a variety of mental illnesses – will get up on stage before a crowd of people at the Coast Hotel and Convention Centre and deliver their own, personal routines.

Georgene Waltham is one of six students this year who have studied for the past couple of months under the tutelage of comedic mentor Patrick Maliha.

Waltham, 36, suffers from schizophrenia.

In her early 20’s, she said she would hold herself up in her room each night after work and not talk to anyone.

“I lived inside my head,” Waltham said.  “Music helped me dream up a world that was not of this world.”

But soon, she said, her mind began to deteriorate and at 25, she ran away from home and lived on the streets of Langley for three days, paranoid and that her parents were out to kill her.

She was eventually found by police and taken to the psych ward at LMH, where she was officially diagnosed.

She was put on an experimental drug, which helped control her illness, but made her feel incredibly tired.  After stopping the drug, she had a relapse and ended up at LMH again in 2000.

She was given another experimental drug – Sequeril – which she has taken ever since.

“It’s a fantastic drug,” she said.

Since then, she has turned her life around and continues to celebrate a new birthday for each year she remains healthy.

“I tell myself, ‘You’re six years old.  Happy birthday,’” she said.

“It’s an acknowledgement for myself that I’m proceeding on in my life.”

Waltham has worked at the same company as a production worker for the last 16 years, she recently completed her GED at the Langley Education Centre, and speaks to groups about her mental illness as part of the B.C. Schizophrenia Society.

And recently, she has been trying her hand at comedy.

“I need to get back my sense of humour because I lost it throughout the years,” she said.

Waltham found out about Comedy Courage through Stepping Stones and has loved seeing each of the students grow so much over the last couple of months.

“You have to look at life comically,” she said.  “It’s true that laughter is the best medicine.”

Comedy Courage will be at the Coast Hotel and Convention Centre on May 17, beginning with a silent auction at 4:30p.m., followed by a dinner and the show, hosted by John L. Daly.

Tickets can be bought through www.comedycourage.com for $150 per person at $1,100 for a table of eight.  Donations can also be made online.

All the donations raised will go towards Langley’s Ishtar Transition Housing Society for an anger management program for men.


MEDIA 2005


LANGLEY

Comedy
Aids Mentally Ill
June 28th, 2005

A Langley company has raised thousands of dollars for the Canadian Mental Health Association by bringing the gift of laughter to those with mental health issues.

COMEDY COURAGE, founded by Darcy James Goral, raised more than $14,000.00 by teaching people who are bi-polar or who suffer from schizophrenia how to write and deliver stand-up comedy routines.

The routines, performed on May 18 in Vancouver, were about the participants' own mental health journeys, so they could rise above their setbacks through humour.

COMEDY COURAGE will present a cheque to CMHA's BLUE BIRD HOUSE transition home in New Westminster on July 5, 2005.



BCTV News On Global
Streaming Video - April 15, 2005


April 11, 2005 — A6
Joey Thompson — Opinion

B.C.’s mentally ill deprived of funds and joy

Dire Need: Government must offer hope for their future.

Cliff isn’t a household name.  He’s never closed a deal with the nation’s movers and shakers. Nor does he have a cast of merciful supporters to buoy his spirits when he’s running on empty.

But, like former Burnaby MP Svend Robinson, who has now disclosed that he suffers from a mental mood illness, Cliff, too, has been there, done that.

The daily must-dos we take in stride can be as daunting for the 45-year-old has a climb up Mt. Everest would be for you and me; boarding SkyTrain, researching in the public library, applying for a job, approaching someone he fancies for a date.

Three years ago, his manic-depressive self could only fathom futility; signing off forever. But Cliff harbours hope today because of support staff and peers at Bluebird House who are helping him shuffle up that steep slope toward self-sufficiency and normalcy.

Few admit it, but mental disabilities touch us all, affecting an estimated 20 per cent of people in our communities, our families, our circle of friends.

The cost to Canadian society and the economy is staggering; $14.4 billion a year, particularly in worker absenteeism and the soaring number of psychiatric emergency visits to our hospital, according to a 2005 report by the B.C. Alliance for Accountable Mental Health and Addictions Services.

Poverty and house are the most pressing issues.

As many as 3,000 mentally ill men and women are waiting for housing in the city; factor in the street homeless and the disproportionate number of adults with mental illnesses mixed up in the criminal justice system, and you get a sense of the dire urgency.

Bluebird is a sanctuary. The modest, two-level bungalow in New Westminster with two cats in the yard is home to Cliff and four others learning-to-function-on-their-own residents; a transition house for the schizophrenic, the bipolar, the manic depressive and the only one in B.C. fully-owned and run by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Simon Frraser Branch.

Why aren’t there scores of Bluebird houses in every B.C. Community?

Funding, for starters.  And the lack of both a province-wide mental health/addiction plan and a framework for performance assessment and accountability.  Sure, previous governments have made minor adjustments, handed out funds here and there, but the impact has been impossible to track — not unlike the situation plaguing our health-care system as a whole.

“It is troubling that we continue to see evidence of a very significant gap between needs and services,” states the report by the alliance, which is comprised of 14 member groups, including the Vancouver Police Department, the B.C. Schizophrenia Society and the CMHA.

Voters can get involved by insisting that election candidates explain their policy on mental health and whether they’d support an authority similar to the ones overseeing the rest of B.C.’s health-care system.

You can aid the CMHA by making a donation to help cut its $65,000 mortgage on Bluebird House, or by supporting Comedy Courage’s second annual fundraising dinner with laughs and silent auction a week tonight: www.comedycourage.com or call 604-516-8080

FYI – Global’s News reporter John L. Daly is MC and I’m auctioneering.


Media 2005

Steaming Video of First Show April 12 - 2005
by Ami Catriona
on
The Express

Cable 4


THE RECORD May 10, 2005
New Westminster BC

COMEDY FOR A CAUSE

On May 12 comedian Kimberley Beaudoin will present a night of humour at New Westminster’s Lafflines Comedy Club, 26 Fourth St., to benefit the Canadian Mental Health Association – Simon Fraser Branch.

Beaudoin has been teaching comedy to folks with mental illness through the website www.comedycourage.com and is raising awareness for the Big Comedy Courage Gala May 18.  Two of Beaudoin’s students will perform routines, as will Victoria Pattison and headliner Carter Hortie, who has performed at the Vancouver International Comedy Festival and Just for Laughs in Montreal.  Tickets are $10 from 604-525-8862 or via e-mail at info@kimberleyscomedycorner.com


MEDIA 2002

Darcy James


Very Special Thanks to
SHELLEY ECKSTEIN
Our Event and Volunteer Coordinator
and all of her wonderful volunteer teams including:

STAPLES DISTRICT MANAGER -
VICTOR CHIMA
STAPLES GENERAL MANAGERS -
KJ DARWAL, RANJ SEHDEV, RITA HARDEN,
DELMAR KYLLO, ANDREA BACKMAN
STAPLES STORE VOLUNTEERS -
SAMMY GREFFORD, WAYNE VAN DER WESTHUIZEN,
JAMES SUTTON, KIM MEYER

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