Mental health plays an important role in our lives, yet the concerns related to it are often invisible and stigmatised. It is crucial to create a supportive and considerate culture of talking about mental health problems. We are opening up the topic by adding a touch of humour to it. In South Estonia, we will be setting up mental health cafés, starting amateur improv comedy groups on mental health and organising stand-up performances, where professionals, as well as local people, will be sharing their mental health stories on stage. 

Story

At least 1 in 4 people suffers from a mental health issue in their lifetime. You read that correctly: 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. Mental health really does affect us all, and that's why we believe it should be a perfectly natural and visible part of our lives, just as the head is a normal part of the body! 

Experience

Stand Up For Your Mind! This is our way of bringing this big, broad and often heavy subject closer to you and turning it into an everyday topic that's easy to handle! We will start the journey with Mental Health Cafés. It is a simple and warm initiative to show that talking about mental health is the most natural thing, something that can be done on a bus, while standing in a shopping queue, on the street or even in a café. This initiative allows you to have meaningful conversations on mental health topics over a cup of tea, with acquaintances and strangers alike; exactly the way that feels most comfortable to you. If you feel that some playfulness in your life would support your mental health, we encourage you to join an amateur improvisation theatre group, focusing on mental health. It's an applied theatre format that provides both fun and substance. It's a way for young and old alike to open up. Together, we will make invisible concerns and solutions audible and visible.

But inspiration and supportive joking can also be learnt from Kinoteater, first in a joke-writing course and then, with their support, on smaller stages in South Estonia. Don't worry! You will not be the only one sharing your mental health stories through humour, professional stand-up comedians from both Estonia and abroad will do the same. After all, mental health concerns us all. 

Impact

We are combining scientific approach, theatre formats, community support and mental health skills learning. This way, we can change the attitude and behaviour at the individual and community level, to be more caring both in Estonia and in Europe, and create a culture of shared concern and mutual support.

Come tell your story, join in and have a good laugh!

Advocates: Minna Sild, Sandra Liiv, Mihkel Mooste
Partners: MTÜ Peaasjad, MTÜ Improkool, Kinoteater MTÜ,