Feeling Kind of Funny / #TimeToTalk

So, here it is! This is me part of this brilliant documentary made by Dabster Productions for BBC Radio Scotland. I know it’s not all about me, but if you’re pushed for time and want to listen to my bit,  I start at 4:40 and finish at 11:17.

It was quite hard to listen back actually – they recorded me listening back to the material I performed and I found it quite emotional (as you’ll hear!). But what it has made me realise is that it is still so important to keep talking about these difficult experiences and places that we find ourselves in.

What’s weird is, yesterday I saw an invitation for people to get involved in a national conversation to beat the stigma of mental health. The day is on 6th Feb and it’s called Time To Talk. So, I’m gonna have a think about where we could do something local. Any ideas, drop me a line!

Enjoy Feeling Kind Of Funny!



Date for your diary: featuring in BBC Radio documentary 9th January 2014

I’ve had such an amazing time developing Hi, Anxiety and am looking forward to taking the show on the road later this year. So what better way to start the new year than by being featured in a BBC Radio Scotland documentary. Richard and Julia – who devised and created the documentary – came to Manchester to see my performance of Hi, Anxiety at Ducie Bridge. They loved the material so invited me up to perform at Feeling Kind of Funny:

“a special BBC Radio Scotland recording of a brand new series called, Feeling Kind Of Funny,featuring exciting comedians and storytellers from around Scotland, the UK and the world sharing stories, jokes and revelations about their experiences with mental health. By addressing subjects such as anxiety, compulsive behaviour, addiction and depression through comedy, they’re helping to challenge stigma and increase understanding.”

The show features excepts from people’s material along with interviews in which they talk about their inspiration for doing the work they do. I really enjoyed spending time with the guys up in Edinburgh and can’t wait to hear the finished recording.

More information on the website here: Thursday 9th Jan 13:30

Feeling Kind of Funny

Hi, Anxiety – also available as a talk, lecture or workshop

In addition to touring Hi, Anxiety as a full theatre performance, I am also available to do more public speaking around the issues touched on in the show – mental health, anxiety, depression, older people, caring/coping, the role of health professionals.

I performed an excerpt of the show to new social work students at MMU this autumn as part of their initial induction. Ali Gardner, Senior Lecturer, said:

I have been teaching social work for over 10 years and this has been one of the most impressive things I have seen. The students singled the performance out as the most powerful part of their induction process as it offered them an alternative means of engaging with the issues relating to service user and carer issues.

I was also pleased to be booked as the headline act at the closing ceremony of the Love Arts Festival in Leeds. They said:

We were honoured to have Debs Gatenby in attendance to share her moving and funny story of mental health, ‘Hi Anxiety’.

If you would like to know more about booking me to attend your event or conference, or to speak to a group of students or other professionals, then simply drop me a line at debsgatenby@hotmail.com

Performing at TedX, Bradford

Performing at TedX, Bradford

Proud of Hi, Anxiety audience, raising money for Bi-polar Support Group

Recently performed Hi Anxiety at Ducie Bridge and am SO proud of my amazing audience who all donated over and above the ticket price to raise a whopping £200 for a local Bi-polar Support group. It’s so important to me to raise money for this group, as they receive no core funding and the group is run entirely by volunteer service users.

I dropped the cash off to the group last week and they told me that the money will ensure they can have meetings for another 6 months. When I was there, there were close to 30 people turning up for the meeting – shows there is such a demand for the important role that this group offers.

It’s such a lifeline it is to some people so well done to all those who came along – we did a good thing!

Bi-polar Support

Hi Anxiety – progress at work or work in progress?

Well, its post the showing of the show, to a warm packed room of folk, we all shared tears and laughter, a very special night.And now I am ready to proceed with what I learnt. Having recovered from being overwhelmed and exhausted emotionally and physically, I’ve learnt just how much it takes to do a one person show, how much focus and energy you need, how much faith you need, how much you cannot let any seeds of doubt enter your mind.And then you have to put all of that to one side,put yourself to one side and really look at the show, what does it need what can it lose. Having had sometime to sift through all the great feedback, negative becomes positive, and can I just say I’m loving the way things grow, I’m loving being open to sharing the work and taking in the changes, I would never of been able to do this before, and now is the time, loving the process,becomes loving working with it. Team Hi Anxiety is go.