April 10, 2015, by ICCSR

A taste of the healing power of laughter

One of the highlights of our forthcoming Wellness in the Workplace seminar on 23 April will be a presentation from Laughing Matters, a small business that provides comedy courses to help people with addictions and/or mental health issues.

The social enterprise was set up by Kirstie MacDonald, an MBA student at the ICCSR, who, along with Sam Avery, a professional stand-up comedian and course tutor, will show seminar attendees how comedy-based courses allow participants to develop self esteem and presentation skills – and engender a more positive outlook on life.

Delegates will be given a taster comedy-based session to show them how the concept works, and will also hear how Laughing Matters courses can be a useful personal development and management tool in corporate settings.

A typical Laughing Matters course includes ice-breaker exercises followed by sessions on using a microphone, creating a stage persona, and presenting thoughts to an audience. Participants then work up their own comedic material, go through rehearsals, and perform their routines in front of a supportive audience.

Kirstie, a former investment banker who once worked for Goldman Sachs in New York, came up with the idea for Laughing Matters in conjunction with Mark Christian, a former Nottingham University graduate who previously ran a charity offering counselling to recovering addicts.

‘It’s a well-known adage that laughter is the best therapy, but we thought we’d turn the tables on that idea and use the skills that comedians employ to increase confidence, create a stage presence and rebuild the self-esteem that people may have lost as a result of their experiences,’ she says.

The presentation by Kirstie and Sam will be one of a number of plenary sessions at the Wellness in the Workplace event that are designed to showcase practical means for organisations to better support their employees on health and wellbeing.

The general aim of the free seminar will be to examine how health and wellbeing issues affect people in the workplace. For more details of the event click here.

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