Neil Crone Brings Big Laughs to Mental Health Speaker Series

May 24, 2011
Neil Crone Speaker at Ontario ShoresWith his energy and charisma, Canadian actor, comedian and writer, Neil Crone laughed in the face of cancer and shared those laughs with the audience at the 2011 Mental Health Speaker Series on May 5. Crone was the keynote speaker for the annual event, hosted in partnership by Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), Durham Mental Health Services and Canadian Mental Health Association Durham.

Crone was fortunate enough in his life to be the recipient of not one, but two epiphanies. The first was his discovery of improvisation. A world where, he says, adults behave like children and learning to say ‘yes’ opens a world of possibilities. However, as people age they listen more to their ‘editor,’ that little voice that limits our willingness to embrace life, and we lose our sense of carefree bliss.

“It’s the art of saying ‘yes,’ says Crone. “Without the yes, that magic can never happen.” Moments like these help people become joyously and vividly aware of what path they should be following in life, he adds. Consistently saying ‘yes’ in his improv classes began to permeate into his everyday life, until Crone found himself saying ‘yes’ to life, and watched a world of bliss unfold.

His second epiphany came with a diagnosis of colon cancer; a diagnosis that, for many, would seem like the ultimate collapse. However, Crone views his grueling experience with cancer and chemotherapy as a blessing, a gift.

Initial feelings of anger and terror made saying ‘yes’ to this circumstance almost impossible. However, it was through humour and the ability to make the best of the hand he was dealt, that Crone was able to welcome life, for better or worse.

“Take whatever offers you’re handed; good, bad, lousy, cancer, and run with them,” says Crone. “There is no room for fear or negativity in a yes filled life.”

Other topics in the Mental Health Speaker Series included How Humour Helps in the Workplace, Mindfulness and Stress Reduction, Power Foods for Better Moods, and Take This Stress and LOVE It!

“Together with our partners, we are proud to host our annual Mental Health Speaker Series in celebration of National Mental Health Week to provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about mental health,” says Glenna Raymond, President and CEO at Ontario Shores. “Collectively we are making a difference, as more people talk about and recognize the impact of mental illness.”

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact:
Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 4001