BLOG: Matt McGuinness on Mental Health and Comedy
I’ve been on a strange path with my mental health and wellbeing. I don’t know many people who would see the chance to turn their breakdown into something to be performed in front of an audience. I feel like, with the show on World Mental Health Day, I’ve come full circle from an unplanned and chaotic start in 2018 to now playing at The Horton with its history in mental health.
I’ve been working to highlight issues around mental health provision, sitting on our local mental health collaborative forum and lending my voice and experience to that, as well as forming a strong relationship with Samaritans nationally. I stand by the fact that we are more forthright with discussions about Mental Health and Suicide, but the key statistics haven’t changed, and behind each statistic is an irreplaceable, unique, and loved individual. We still shy away from the core conversations – just try mentioning ‘Depression’, it’s not the best starter for 10, but it’s essential that it all becomes part of day-to-day chat if we want to reduce deaths by suicide.
With my own mental health, I rely on music, comedy, and conversations. I genuinely don’t know where I’d be without a song, a joke or a story to tell. It’s easy to relate to someone when they have a whole tale to tell, within a relaxed evening, with nowhere urgent to be but amongst friends and empathy. I think that’s why my unconscious brain started me down this path. Meeting others who talk to you like you’ve been friends for a lifetime, is life-affirming.
The show is like a relaxed and memorable evening with a good friend, especially if that friend brings stories, comedy, and a full band to entertain you. Nothing is left to implication or to whisper, I talk directly to the audience about my mental health to invoke an atmosphere of openness and understanding. Heartfelt chat, laughs and original music rising from acapella to full-on rock n roll. It is a great night out. I’m expecting it to be a very special evening in such a thought-provoking and distinctive historic setting at The Horton. I hope we reach a lot of people and help them start important conversations with loved ones.”
Matt McGuinness brings We Are What We Overcome to The Horton, Epsom, on World Mental Health Day, Tuesday 10th October 2023.
LINKS AND FURTHER READING:
- Tickets available now from https://thehortonepsom.org/events/we-are-what-we-overcome/
- Samaritans (call 116 123 for free) https://www.samaritans.org
- First Steps: emotional health and mental wellbeing advice and support guide https://www.healthysurrey.org.uk/mental-wellbeing/self-help/advice-and-support-guide
- Self-help, Crisis and Local Support Resources https://www.healthysurrey.org.uk/mental-wellbeing