Interview with Joe Patrick, who is a Brisbane comedian on the scene for the past 4 years. Joe got into comedy for the right reason: to make people laugh and feel happy. Joe's comedy style is "blue", reminiscent of Kevin Bloody Wilson and Rodney Rude, and to date he's performed as far north as Cairns and as far south as Ballina. Joe will be heading to Melbourne and Adelaide in mid-2016.
We discuss Joe's experiences of living with family members with mental health issues. Joe's Mum has depression and anxiety and recently resumed taking medication (after a period of stopping it cold turkey which had negative results). Joe's younger brother also has depression and anxiety, and has recently been experiencing some mood swings. Joe tries to be as supportive as possible, by listening, asking if they are ok and listening to their responses, and offering advice at times. Joe also has a friend who has three children on the Autism spectrum*. We also discuss how Joe interacts with the family, and how the parents manage their kids and their own mental health by taking respite at times. Joe's main message he would like to share is the importance of reaching out to, and connecting with, people with mental health issues. Ask your friends/family/loved ones if they are ok, and if the answer is no, help them to get some help from a GP, counsellor, hospital or phone support line (eg. Beyond Blue). And in particular, do not say "Just cheer up", as people with depression or other MH issues can't help it!
*I mis-spoke around about this point in the interview when I mentioned the term "normal kids". What is "normal" anyway?? What I meant was kids who are not on the Autism spectrum (which is a term I used a bit later in the interview). Sincere apologies if I have caused any offence or upset.