The Grave Concerns Association hosts a “Stand Up for Mental Health” Comedy show at 2:30 p.m. April 13 at the Lakewood Elks Club, 6313 75th Street in Lakewood. David Granirer, Internationally acclaimed comic and mental health stigma buster, is coming from Vancouver, B.C. to emcee the show. Featured performers, 2012 graduates of the Wellness and Peer Support program at the Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities (T.A.C.I.D.), will share the light side of their recovery journeys. Tickets are available now online for $10, plus $1.34 handling. Tickets will be available at the door (space permitting) for $15.
David Granirer will appear after receiving a Comeback Award for Destigmatization earlier in the week at the National Behavioral Healthcare Conference in Las Vegas. Jonathan Granirer, a seasoned comic at age 14, will accompany his father, sharing his perspective of living with parent who experiences depression. The T.A.C.I.D. comics participating in the April 13 program hail from Tacoma, Federal Way, Lakewood, and Vancouver, B.C.
Grave Concerns Chair, Laurel Lemke, is the Lakewood based comic. Lemke has been involved in anti- stigma projects as a conference presenter, member of mental health organizations and through her volunteer work with the Grave Concerns Association. “Writing and performing jokes is an amazing tool to increase understanding about living with a mental illness,” Lemke explains. “It is great for personal healing and self esteem.”
Lemke recalls: “I was a fan when I saw David perform in Seattle at the national conference of the National Alliance of Mental Illness with his Clackamas County group, who had trained via Skype. I shared with him how patients I worked with appreciated the Canadian documentary of his work with his Vancouver, B.C. class. “
“ I was so excited that I posted on Facebook about the experience. A friend from T.A.C.I.D. let me know that the Wellness and Peer Support Director, Kathleen Pantoja, had secured a grant to hold a group at T.A.C.I.D. I was one of the first to apply for a spot. I learned about stand up technique and wrote comedy for 13 weeks, culminating in a sold out show at TCC in late October.”
The Lakewood Elks has donated its hall for this spring fundraiser for Grave Concerns, a local 501-C nonprofit which formed in 2000 to restore the historic Western State Hospital patient cemetery, located in Fort Steilacoom Park. Grave Concerns has been raising funds to purchase granite markers through Premier Memorial, a philanthropic partnership which has allowed the group to give identity to approximately one third of the individuals who were buried anonymously between 1876 and 1953.