“The Mental Health Comedian,” Frank King headlines Post Independent’s Longevity Project Tuesday

Frank King

The Post Independent’s Longevity Project, Striking a Conversation: Mental Health For All Ages culminates Tuesday with a performance from, “The Mental Health Comedian,” Frank King.

A writer for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno for over 20 years, King has lived with mental illness for decades.

“I would say that humor has saved my life, all my life,” said King. “I believe that my sense of humor is just part of the wiring that also contains my major depressive disorder.”

In addition to performing comedy 12 weeks a year on Holland America Line cruise ships, King speaks on college campuses across the country about mental health and suicide prevention.

“There is a stigma surrounding mental illness,” said King. “There is a separate stigma surrounding thoughts of suicide. It scares people and therefore they don’t talk about it.”

King, however, will speak to these issues and more Tuesday night at Morgridge Commons Meeting & Conference Center, 815 Cooper Ave., in Glenwood Springs.

Doors to the Longevity Project’s main event featuring King open at 5 p.m.

A local panel comprised of Carson Marie De Fries, Jackie Skramstad and Kevin Patterson will start the event with a presentation beginning at 6 p.m.

Defries serves as Intergenerational Program Coordinator at the University of Denver, Skramstad works as a clinical operations manager at Mind Springs Health and Patterson takes on the responsibility of being Connect for Health Colorado’s CEO.

Following the panel’s presentation, King will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets to Tuesday’s event cost $15 and include appetizers. They can be purchased here.

“I will explain why a comedian is talking about depression and suicide – that’s always the elephant in the room – and then I will give them actionable, take home advice. What I call signs, symptoms and solutions for depression and thoughts of suicide,” King said of what those in attendance Tuesday can expect. “We can save lives, simply by starting that conversation.”

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