Silly but serious at Centacare

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Home > Media > News > Silly but serious at Centacare
Silly but serious at Centacare
workshop participants looking silly

On a recent training course at Centacare in Launceston, a regional manager was wearing a jester’s hat while a social worker told jokes. 

All the participants played with toys and were encouraged to be silly - not the usual behaviour to be seen in the office, but this was  a workshop on humour given by Heather Donaldson for colleagues from Centacare and other service agencies.


There were many interesting things to learn such as :

•He/she who laughs, lasts.
•Laugh and the world laughs with you - Cry and your face gets wet.
•Laughter is the best medicine. It’s a tranquiliser, anti-depressant, analgesic and stimulant with no bad side effects.

Humour has a very serious side. It has been used by Heather and others to help relieve pain for the chronically ill, fight stress, cheer the miserable, boost self-esteem and help people cut back on their medication and live more happily with their problems. There is a good amount of research supporting the value of humour as therapy. Heather has used the humour groups for over ten years and has had much media interest over the years, including nationally on the 7:30 Report and A Current Affair.

In 2001, she presented her findings to an International  Rheumatology Conference to great acclaim. The laughter groups and its findings were virtually free, compared with the millions of dollars involved in the promotion of drugs and devices. Heather ‘charges’ her participants a joke, cartoon or funny story and watches as they share what they brought with the group and the positive esteem the group’s laughter brings.

She hopes others will take on this approach and loves sharing her ideas and experiences.
Heather Donaldson can be contacted through Centacare Launceston ph (03) 6332 0600.