Stand-up comedians raise awareness about mental health

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A local comedian is teaming up with three other comedians from Oklahoma and Texas for a comedy show about mental health. The four comedians are hosting "Laughter is Therapy" where they'll be sharing personal stories about mental health.

They're hoping to do more than just make people laugh at the show. The four comedians want this platform to address mental health issues and start a conversation. Kendall Irvin does musical comedy about serious subjects. One of the songs he sings is about getting along.

"If we were just being good to each other, being nice to each other, how would our world change? What things would be different? I know that sounds simplistic, but I truly want people to have that idea and concept," he said.

Another comedian is going to talk about challenges he and his family have faced, where he grew up, and poverty.

"I grew up in an area where it was almost a rite of passage to go to prison and that type of stuff. I turn all that into humor so I don't have to do a show in prison," Lenny Vanhorn said.

Julie Drake is also going to hit the stage and talk about emotional abuse and dealing with racism that she and her family have faced since she has biracial kids. One of the stories she shared in her standup routine is talking about people not realizing her kids are hers because of their race.

"When they were younger, and they'd act up in the store, and they're screaming or yelling, and whatever and someone would be like who's kids are these and I'm walking past them like I don't know," she said.

She uses this to transition into talking about other things she and her family face.

"People come up to me after the show and they say 'I've done some of those things before and I did not know that what I was doing was hurtful,'" Drake said.

They hope that people who might be dealing with a mental illness know that they're not alone and there doesn't have to be a stigma attached to it.

"It just one night of forgetting all that stuff, which is what comedy show normally is. Even if they just get that it would be pretty cool," Vanhorn said.

The adult show is at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28th in Oklahoma City at the Loony Bin Comedy Club. If you'd like more information or to purchase tickets click here.

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