Although comedy has always had the goal of getting laughs, a group of campus comedy clubs are coming together this weekend to emphasize mental health in a collaborative show.
The Mental Health Show, premiering Friday, has the goal of reducing the stigma around mental illness, Madeleine Haas, a fourth-year in political science and sociology and president of Backburner Sketch Comedy, said.
“There’s a bunch of social causes that are really important to raise awareness about and that comedy can just reduce the stigma of mental health is one that’s really important and close to my heart, and I’m really excited about the prospect of doing comedy about it,” Haas said.
The show will feature longform performances by Fishbowl Improv, 8th Floor Improv and Circular Reasoning Improv, as well as shortform improv performances, a live article reading by The Sundial Humor Magazine, a performance by Buckeye Standup Comedy Club and four comedy sketches by Backburner Sketch Comedy, Adam Goecke, a fourth-year in chemical engineering and vice president of acting for Backburner Sketch Comedy, said.
Goecke said the evening will include presentations about personal experiences with mental health and Student Advocates for Sexual Health Awareness.
Goecke said the show will use comedy to talk about issues surrounding mental health, while raising money for Ohio’s crisis text line, a free 24/7 service that connects users to a trained crisis counselor, according to the page’s website.
“They’re just able to point you to different resources and talk you through and be there for you in that moment,” Haas said.
The show will provide busy students with a break from daily stress, Haas said.
Haas said she’s excited to hear about people’s personal experiences with mental health and provide resources to the community.
Those suffering from a mental health crisis can contact the Ohio crisis text line by texting “4HOPE” to 741741.
The Mental Health Show premieres at 7 p.m. Friday in Independence Hall Room 100. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. There is a suggested, but not required, $5 donation for admission.