On Friday 23 October the Hope Café Lanarkshire held their first
ever Stand Up to Stigma event as part of the Scottish Mental Health
Festival at St Nininas Church in Stonehouse.
The event was compared by comedienne and Hope Café board
member the hilarious Gillian Grant and was attended by over
Gillian had the audience in stiches right from the start with
her stand up routine based on her own experience of mental illness.
We were also entertained by the powerful voices of Stonehouse Male
Voice Choir and including their rendition of classic
sin-a-long wartime songs. The Acting Bairns of Stonehouse
then treated us to their amazing musical talent singing more
modern songs which were enjoyed by all the audience.
The first half then was concluded by Inspire young peoples drama
group, a drama group formed by young people who have either their
own or a close experience of mental illness. They wrote and
produced their own drama based on the challenges many young
people face today which their mental health and incorporated their
own experiences in the piece. It was performed very well and sent
out a strong message to the audience of the importance of being
able to speak to someone about any difficulties they may be
After a break of some delicious home baking and tea the second
half was kicked off my more hilarious stories from Gillian. Hope
Café volunteer Christine Cather - also known as "Wee Read" shared
some very powerful poetry with us. We then had a very poignant and
factual short sketch from AT Theatre about the stigma surrounding
mental health and how each person can play their part in breaking
that down. The evening was finished off by the Inspire Young Adults
group who had written and produced a drama from the
recovery story of Hope Café volunteer Scott Baker. The
drama was a true account of Scotts experience as
a teenager and the difficulties he faced. Through the
drama Inspire perfectly portrayed how Scott has worked
hard to change his life and continues to manage his recovery. The
drama was extremely powerful and emotional and left the audience
with no doubt about the trials that are part of learning to live
with a mental illness. You can read Scotts story here.
The event was a huge success raising around
£300 in total for the Hope Café but more
importantly raising awareness of mental health and helping to
'Stand up to Stigma'.
Thank you to See Me Scotland and Lanarkshire Recovery Network
for funding the event.