Comedy - Mental Health

Tips by Genre or Format

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  1. Comedy Can Convey Positivity
    1. Comedy can convey helpful, positive messages about mental health in a way that resonates.
  2. Elevate Shared Experiences with Humor
    1. Examine how to use the humor in your story to elevate commonly shared experiences as opposed to reinforcing stereotypes or misconceptions.
  3. Mental Health Struggles Are Not Punchlines
    1. Consult expert advisors and avoid making those battling mental health conditions a punchline.


Look Out for Stereotypes Associated with the Condition or Experience You’re Portraying

  • Common stereotypes are sometimes used as a tool for humor — but they can unintentionally trivialize mental health challenges or cause distress to viewers who are struggling. Stereotypes can also perpetuate stigma or misconceptions around certain conditions. 
  • Learn more about stereotypes here and think about how to handle them within your content.  

Remember that Mental Health Challenges Are a Common Struggle, Not a Punchline 

  • It’s OK to find humor in the challenging experiences or conditions many people face, but be mindful that people managing those conditions don’t become the punchline of the joke. 
  • Engage individuals with lived experience or an expert advisor to walk that delicate line.

Convey Real Messages About Mental Health

  • Laughter has always been a coping tool and a connector, and comedic content offers a unique opportunity to convey helpful messages in a way that resonates with viewers. 
  • While elements of your story might be heightened or skewed for comedic effect, consider whether there are opportunities to interject messages that inform and empower viewers around their own mental health

Recognize the Importance of Language

  • Misuse of terms like crazy, psycho, and schizo, can perpetuate stigma and judgment around mental health conditions.
  • Consider word choice and the impact that these words have on viewers when producing or writing comedic content.  

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more in part 6