Mike Veny is America's Leading Mental Health Speaker
PUT HIM TO THE TEST
"The feedback we received was highly positive in terms of his ability to engage and inspire the students, and in fact, out of all the speakers, Mike received a standing ovation from the audience. Shortly after the Youth Summit Event, we also hosted a drum circle, which Mike led as part of team building event for our staff during Mental Health Awareness Week. The staff also provided excellent positive feedback on Mike and his abilities to engage, motivate and facilitate a great and fun time for all participants."
Marie Hoy, Chief Operations Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association - Halton Region Branch
Let’s face it – the right mental health speaker can make or break your event.
Here is a new format for your attendees, that provides incredible value, and maximum efficiency.
Mike Veny is a sought after mental health stigma expert, keynote speaker, and professional drummer.
He delivers entertaining, engaging, and educational experiences to conferences and events throughout the world.
Mike has gone from being hospitalized, expelled from schools, and suicidal as a child to being a successful professional drummer, speaker, and entrepreneur as an adult … and did it all through trial and error. During his presentations, he give audiences a unique insight and understanding of what it’s like living life with mental health challenges.
Since he struggled with mental health and behavior challenges as a child, still struggles with mental health challenges as an adult (his behavior is much better), and serves those who struggle with mental health challenges (including staff & leadership in organizations), he speaks from a diverse perspective.
What You Can Expect from Mike VenyAs Mike’s friend taught him years ago, “clearing up expectations on the front end avoids problems on the back end.”
Here is what you can expect from Mike:
1. A speech that is customized to your audience and the goals of your event.
2. A compelling, energetic, engaging, and relevant speaker.
3. Quick correspondence from myself or any members of my team.
Transforming Stigma™ Leads to Suicide Prevention
"As a person who struggles with mental health challenges on a daily basis, I am committed to sharing my experience with you and let you know that it's okay to just be you. In fact, I believe that your mental health challenges are your genius in disguise. As part of my recovery and work, I am a mental health speaker at mental health events throughout the world. Sharing my story and feeling vulnerable never gets easier, but I know that I am helping people who are like me. This is why I do it."
What is Stigma?
Stigma is when you are labeled or judged due to perception about your illness or disabilities. It’s often seen as a mark of disgrace. People judge you and believe negative stereotypes about you because they think you’re different. This often causes them to avoid, reject, and discriminate against you.
Stigma also exists when you judge yourself, believe negative things about yourself, and feel ashamed because you think you are different than everyone else.
The Stigma CycleTM
- Stigma starts with shame.
- Shame leads to silence.
- Silence leads to self-destructive behavior and suicide.
- The process repeats and it becomes an endless, downward spiral.
7 Ways Investing in Your Mental Health Speaker Pays for Itself:1. They will boost interest in your event and attendance. Even if the speaker isn't a name people recognize, their topic will be a catalyst for buzz around your event. This will make for increased registrations, vendors, and media exposure surrounding your event. 2. They will add credibility to your event and organization. Therefore, it's important that you do everything in your power to promote your event and speaker. If you choose not to go with a quality speaker, it can have the opposite effect on your event and organization. 3. They add value for the attendees. Whether it's their story of overcoming challenges with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc., or the tools they offer, the speaker you choose has the power to transform the lives of your attendees. In addition, the value a particular speaker brings to your event may be a reason to increase the cost of registration for your event. 4. They will add to the value of future events. Investing in an amazing celebrity keynote speaker will set a new standard for your organization and it's events. After your event, your attendees will be excited and talking to their friends about it. This is the most powerful form of marketing future events. 5. They engage audience members. A great speaker will provide the perfect balance of edutainment (education and entertainment). This why they are worth the the investment. Also, most mental health events have a reputation for being helpful and informative, but also boring. 6. They will create social media buzz. A professional public speaker has a good understanding of how to promote themselves. Many have a large following on different social media platforms. This can help spread the word about your organization and your event. 7. They will be valuable before your event. A celebrity speaker will be available for media interviews and meetings before your event. It's like having an extra PR team working on your event.
“You have to intentionally have
the uncomfortable conversation.”
- Mike Veny
Mike's definition of mental health is your collective thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Ironically, the stigma surrounding mental health can exist in a person thoughts, feelings, and or behavior.
Stereotypes are related to a person’s thoughts;
prejudice has to do with a person’s feelings;
and discrimination has to do with a person’s behavior.
“Mike received the highest marks of all the panelists in the conference surveys, garnering an average rating of 4.81 (out of a possible 5). The only complaint was that we did not give him enough time. ” Matt Shapiro - Development and Events Coordinator, NAMI New York State
“After more than 10 years of coordinating conference speakers and keynoters, Mike was refreshingly easy to work with and flexible enough to structure his program to deliver exactly what we needed. Carla Falkenstein - Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
“Mike Veny has an innate ability to connect with people, draw them out, and get them to participate. This is not an easy task when you are responsible for closing a two and a half day conference on a Friday.” MaryBeth Schneider - Assistant Executive Director for Training and Self-Advocacy, NYSARC
“I look forward to working with Mike not only because he was a great speaker, but also because he took the time after his speech to talk, connect, and have fun with your youth. He is a great role model for any youth who is struggling with mental health issues. Kelly Giuliani - Reach Out Centre for Kids, Canada
“Mike's ability to connect with students is a talent that very few adults have. His ability to address a group of 200 students and have them engaged for well over an hour shows just how deep his talent runs.” Jesicah Rolapp - Principal, Los Angeles Leadership Academy
“We were honored to have Mike share how he has overcome many obstacles regarding his own mental health. The youth in attendance truly related to Mike’s story, and his positive way of presenting excited both the parents and youth!” Jean Houstion - Families Connected of Clermont County
“Mike's enthusiastic personality and professional demeanor helped him earn the respect of many teenagers that normally have a negative attitude towards school. He was successful in engaging groups of anywhere between 24 and 100 students for a period of one hour. Jenny Goldberg - Executive Director of Everybody Deserves Music at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy
“Mike Veny participated in our 2013 community mental health awareness conference and was nothing short of outstanding. I believe his candor, humor, and transparency are applicable in a variety of corporate and community settings.” Sophie Clark - Executive Director, NAMI Washington, DC
7 Tips to Maximize Mental Health Speakers
- Review surveys and data from previous events. Use this information to identify trends, challenges, and the goals of your attendees. Through this process, you identify the type of mental health speakers that will be effective for your upcoming event and future events.
- Learn about different mental health speakers. Some speakers are professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers). Some have lived experience. Some have a combination of both. Some are good for stress management, overall health and wellness, while others can provide a unique answer to the question, "Why is mental health important?"
- Identify the top priorities of your event. What do you want your attendees to think, feel, believe, and DO after your event? Do you want a celebrity mental health speaker to drive registration? Do you want a speaker with lived experience who has had a successful recovery? Do you want a speaker that will help you with marketing your event?
- Reinforce the top priorities of your event. A simple and easy way to do this is to create a short video that discusses a brief history of your organization, the purpose of your event, the theme of your event, and some background on your audience. Schedule individual calls with each speaker and then a conference call with all of the stakeholders who will be a part of your event.
- Involve speakers in marketing your event. This can be done through social media and press releases. Not only will this help bring more exposure to your event, but it will improve mental health awareness.
- Bookend your keynote speakers. Start and your event with keynote speakers that will effectively reinforce your top priorities. It's great if your workshop speakers do this as well, but absolutely critical that your keynote speakers do this.
- Create systems and checklists. If you don't do this, you will end up having mental health issues because of your mental health event. Here are few things to keep in mind: Some meeting planners insist that speakers book a second incoming flight as a backup in case of flight delays or cancellations. Also, remember to ask each speaker how they would like to be introduced. Finally, take time to think through your room setups so that your audience can see and hear your speakers, and the rooms are accessible for people with disabilities.