Stand-up mental health course heading to the Comedy Store

Comedian Tom Ward and Head Held High founder Tash Alexander

Comedian Tom Ward and Head Held High founder Tash Alexander - Credit: Steve Ullathorne/Head Held High

A north London social enterprise is taking its stand-up wellbeing course participants to the West End's famous Comedy Store.

Head Held High, based in Islington, works with young people and vulnerable adults to improve their mental health and wellbeing through laughter in its Stand Up For Yourself programme.

On May 9, Tom Ward – whose appearances include Live At the Apollo and as tour support for Jack Whitehall, Joe Lycett and Sindhu Vee – will compete in a show for Head Held High at the Comedy Store, where the audience will hear from headline acts as well as emerging comedians from the course.

Stand Up For Yourself aims to increase self-esteem and motivation. Over six weeks, individuals learn presentation skills, assertive communication, creative writing and the importance of empathy in comedy, and receive one-to-one coaching with a professional comedian before performing a live stand-up comedy set.

Mental health challenges for young people have been exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic due to additional pressures including changes to their social lives and routines, a lack of access to education, and spending extended time with families at home.

Head Held High founder Tash Alexander, from Muswell Hill, said: “Making the decision to change and break through the obstacles, learnt patterns of behaviour and limited mindsets which stop us from moving forward is the first step.”

She added: “At Head Held High we encourage each person we work with to take full responsibility for their life, for their behaviour, their attitude, and the actions they take. The work is not easy, but the results are so rewarding. All human beings deserve to live with their heads held high.”

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All funds raised at the Stand Up For Yourself comedy event will support Head Held High to deliver further programmes.

The event will be held on Monday, May 9 at 7:30pm. The venue is at 1a Oxendon Street and doors open at 6pm.

Tickets are available at london.thecomedystore.co.uk/event/stand-up-for-head-held-high