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Culture & Religion

The Best Medicine: Charity Brings Comedy to Mental Health Wards

A British charity profiled this week by The Guardian takes an outside-the-box approach to helping patients in mental health wards.

Out of the U.K. comes this profile by The Guardian’s Juliette Jowit of a charity that thinks outside the box when it comes to helping patients in mental wards. Laughter, as they say, is the best medicine, which is why Star Wards focuses on spreading comedy and humor. This includes installing “comedy rooms” full of games and hosting up-and-coming stand-up comics to perform in the ward.

“Star Wards founder Marion Janner built the charity out of a list she wrote after she was discharged from her first stay on a hospital mental health ward. Regular comedy evenings was number 14 of the 75 ideas, which were intended to be practical and relatively simple improvements, from more attractive presentation of food to a culture of saying ‘thank you.'”

Janner says she was inspired by Monty Python’s John Cleese, who once took a trip to India to meet a doctor specializing in laughter therapy. She also explains that there exists plenty of medical evidence promoting her position that laughter is helpful when recovering from mental trauma. It not only reduces stress, it can also help patients adopt a new perspective in battling their maladies.

Take a look at the full profile (linked below) and let us know what you think in the comments.

Read more at The Guardian

Photo credit: Stuart Jenner / Shutterstock


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