September 24th, 2016

Redditch comedienne goes to new heights for mental health awareness

Redditch comedienne goes to new heights for mental health awareness Redditch comedienne goes to new heights for mental health awareness

A BRAVE comedienne is preparing to face her fear of heights to raise money for a project close to her heart, following her sell-out show at Redditch’s Palace Theatre.

Qualified counsellor by day and stand-up comedienne by night, Sheila McMahon wants to reduce the social stigma that surrounds mental health issues, after suffering with it personally for many years.

And as part of her mission, Sheila is planning to undertake a tandem hang-glide to fund-raise for the production of a series of online mental health shows.

With statistics showing one in four people in the UK suffer from depression or a similar mental health issue, Sheila hopes the shows would provide useful information to help people suffering from depression and other mental health issues.

The programmes, which aim to get people talking about mental health, will be filmed in the Midlands and will see Sheila interview experts and invite viewers to submit questions.

Sheila understands mental health personally, having suffered with depression so severe that she wanted to commit suicide when she was only seven years old.

The fund-raiser comes hot on the heels of her sell-out ‘Sheila’s M.H.S – Mental Health Show’ which The Standard were lucky enough to be invited along to in February.

And Sheila is bringing some of that comedy to her fund-raising feat, completing the hang-glide as her comedy character, nun Sister Mary.

Dressed in her black and white robes, Sheila will be taking Sister Mary closer to God in the safe hands of Sheila’s older brother Geoffrey, who has actually held the record for the longest hang-gliding flight in Ireland (80 miles) for the last ten years.

Sheila said: “Unfortunately, in today’s society, mental health is still a taboo subject, which doesn’t help the people who suffer with it.

“There are already quite a few TV programmes about physical health issues, but I don’t think there are enough shows yet about mental health – I’ve certainly not seen anything similar to what I’d like to present.”

Sheila added she believes the series will help get the issues ‘out in the open’ so people suffering do not feel alone.

She said: ” I believe everybody, given the right knowledge, support and environment, can become victorious in their own life – and I want to use my counselling and comedy skills to make that a possible reality for everyone.”

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