Understanding Mental Health – The Good, the Bad, and the Funny
The negative stigma surrounding mental illness leads to more unnecessary suffering for the one in five working Canadians dealing with mental health conditions. And the stress and isolation of COVID-19 has led to higher rates of burnout and presenteeism. It’s time to talk but discussing mental health doesn’t have to be heavy or burdensome.
Comedian and Bell Let’s Talk ambassador Jessica Holmes breaks down the stigma by using heart and humour to share her experience with depression. She weaves comedy, characters, and music to bring understanding and hope to a serious subject, describing how she went from successful entertainer who opened for Oprah Winfrey to couch potato who slept more than the cat!
Holmes shares the lessons she wrote about in her heartwarmingly funny book Depression The Comedy to motivate your team to prioritize their well-being. Your team will learn:
- Where to begin if they or someone they know is struggling
- How a small shift in perspective can increase their fulfillment and happiness at work
- Simple, achievable steps to improve mental health
- That no one is alone, and we’re all entitled to a sense of well-being
Holmes’ story, which has a deeply happy ending, leaves your team with a better understanding of mental illness, more empathy and understanding for those suffering with it, and that wonderful feeling you get from belly laughs.
About the Speaker
Beloved comedian Jessica Holmes has been a perennial favourite on Royal Canadian Air Farce for 15 years, and has brought the house down opening for giants such as Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Peters, Jerry Seinfeld, and Oprah Winfrey. Her hilarious take on life’s challenges as well as her unique knack for impersonating celebrities, including Shakira and Celine Dion, have audiences in stitches. Her customized emcee and entertainment presentations — which include motivation and wellness — are always a hit.
Behind the laughter though, Holmes, like millions of Canadians, has struggled both with post-partum depression and, as she puts it, “regular, run-of-the-mill, garden-variety depression”. Hoping to help end the stigma around mental health issues, she openly shares her personal stories with the humour she’s known for, bringing light — and laugh-out-loud laughter — to what can often be a dark topic. Holmes’ funny and inspiring book, Depression The Comedy: A Tale of Perseverance, takes readers deeper into her mental health journey with validation and warmth.
As a performer, Holmes’ productions have garnered her a Platinum Award at The Worldfest International Film Festival, and nominations for Gemini Awards and the prestigious Tim Sims Scholarship. She has starred in her own program, The Holmes Show, and also in the films Welcome to Mooseport, Citizen Duane, and Moonpoint. She also appeared in the pilot for The Communist’s Daughter, which won the JFL ComedyPro competition in 2018, and continues to perform comedy across the country.