Comedy show spotlights dads

Published: 21 January 2008

A comedy show specially commissioned to communicate to fathers how important they are to their children’s mental health, hits the stage at Leicester Comedy Festival on 13 February.

The show, specially commissioned and written for the project, will be delivered by award winning comedian, and father, John Ryan – and will be followed by a London show shortly afterwards. It is part of Those YoungMinds, a project developed by YoungMinds, the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity.

If the events prove a success the project will be developed into a national programme that will help spread the message to fathers around the country.

Background to the project

Nine out of ten callers to YoungMinds’ parent’s helpline are women, yet the organisation is clear that fathers are equally important as mothers when it comes to supporting the emotional and behavioural needs of children. With changes in society mothers, traditionally the main caregivers, spend less time parenting. With the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among young people this calls for fathers to become more active and bridge the gap in supporting children’s mental well being.

Young Minds stress that fathers tend to be more self conscious when accessing support and displaying an interest
in emotional well being. They are also reticent, and feel less confident discussing the emotional well being of young people. Comedy provides a tool that acts as an incentive to engage fathers and to convey important messages about emotional well being.

To research the material for the project workshops with groups of fathers gathered thoughts and feelings about mental health issues and their role as father. Anecdotes and observations from these workshops have fed into John Ryan’s show.

For more information about the show and project generally, contact Daryl Nicholas, Outreach Co-ordinator at YoungMinds on daryl.nicholas@youngminds.org.uk, or Kate Allan who looks after Press and Publicity, on press@youngminds.org.uk or tel 07973 218434.

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