Laughing is a feel good tonic

University of Cumbria seniot lecturer Steve McCarthy-Grunwald with mental health festival organising team Charlotte Pearce and Emma Fitch.
University of Cumbria seniot lecturer Steve McCarthy-Grunwald with mental health festival organising team Charlotte Pearce and Emma Fitch.

It’s good to laugh. That’s the message from Steve McCarthy-Grunwald.

The senior lecturer in mental health nursing studies academic at the University of Cumbria, believes using humour in situations of severe human stress, such as coping with mental health episodes, is a relatively unknown field.

He said “Affiliative and self-enhancing humour can be potentially beneficial whereas aggressive and self-defeating humour is potentially detrimental. Using appropriate levels of humour on a daily basis is a valuable asset in nursing practice and can help to develop the therapeutic relationship and build resilience.”

Steve will explore the use of humour in mental health at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual Mental Health Nurse Academics conference.

He will talk about the benefits of using humour to improve the immune system, the development of better cardiac and respiratory function, neutralise stress hormones and result in the natural release of endorphins.

Steve’s is jointly organising a mental health festival at the university’s Lancaster campus