Comedy programme to help improve perinatal mental health in women receives welcome cash boost from National Lottery

They say that laughter is the best medicine and a comedy programme in Liverpool is helping to improve perinatal mental health in women.

Liverpool-based charity The Comedy Trust has been awarded nearly £9k in National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund to expand its hugely successful Feeling Funny mental health programme to include working with women suffering from perinatal mental health issues and post-natal depression.

Sessions will use comedy and humour as a vehicle to increase the confidence and self-esteem of participants, empower them to speak openly and to combat self-discrimination. Women taking part will use humour to raise awareness of their condition in a light hearted but supportive way.

Using a combination of professional comedians and creative practitioners, the project will support women to communicate with, and be surrounded by, like-minded people in a friendly and non-judgemental environment.

The Feeling Funny Mums programme feeds directly into The Comedy Trust’s ethos to ‘create happier, healthier people.’

Sam Avery, artistic director of The Comedy Trust said: “We are beyond thrilled to receive this National Lottery funding to extend our work to meet the needs of mothers.

“One of the side-effects of poor perinatal mental health is the feeling of isolation and we hope to make a real difference to the lives of our participants and hopefully, as a knock-on effect, to their families too.”

James Harcourt, England grant-making director at the Big Lottery Fund, added: “This project is about creating a welcoming place where women can come together and support one another at what can be an incredibly difficult time in their lives.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, The Comedy Trust will be able to expand its work, so that even more women in Liverpool have the opportunity to be involved.”

For more information and to read participant’s blog posts visit www.thecomedytrust.com and www.thecomedytrust.com/blog