May is Mental Health Awareness Month - View Some of Our Top Speakers
02 May 2019
Dedicated to fighting stigma, educating the public and offering support to those struggling, these sought-after speakers engage audiences with discussions on recovery, mental health, and substance use disorders.
NIC SHEFF // AUTHOR, RECOVERING ADDICT & SUBJECT OF BEAUTIFUL BOY
Sheff’s heartbreaking struggle with substance abuse and bipolar disorder is the subject of Beautiful Boy, starring Timothée Chalamet as Nic. He shares an inspiring message of recovery: Those drowning in addiction or mental illness are not alone—there is help to bring them back to the surface.
SEAN ASTIN // ACTOR, FILMMAKER & MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
Son of the legendary Patty Duke, Astin is an acclaimed filmmaker and actor best known for his roles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Goonies, Rudy and Stranger Things 2. A vocal advocate for mental health awareness, he candidly and compassionately shares his experience with Duke’s bipolar disorder.
RYAN LEAF // FORMER NFL STAR QB, BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
Widely known as a star college quarterback and #2 pick in the 1998 NFL draft, Leaf's career took unexpected turns. Today he is a staunch advocate for those struggling with mental health and addiction issues
YASHI BROWN // SPOKEN WORD ARTIST & MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
After a rare disappearance at age 24, Brown was found by Los Angeles law enforcement skipping along Ventura Boulevard in a psychotic, manic state. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she has since dedicated herself to helping other sufferers and their families heal self image challenges and self-imposed stigma.
DAVID GRANIRER // COUNSELOR & STAND-UP COMIC
After struggling with anxiety and depression for years, Granirer founded Stand Up For Mental Health, a program that teaches stand-up comedy to recovering addicts and cancer patients. He is considered a pioneer in using humor to increase wellness, reduce stress and cope with change.
BRETT FRANCIS // LEADING MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
Dedicated to promoting open, honest discussion about mental health and disabilities, Francis' radio show, Not Broken® Radio, has 1.8M+ online listeners and is heard around the globe. Also a best-selling author and founder of a mental health clothing line, she helps give confidence to those who are struggling.
IMANI MCGEE-STAFFORD // WNBA PLAYER, POET & MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
An abuse survivor, McGee-Stafford has made it her life's purpose to give a voice to the silenced. She now takes every opportunity she can to live in her truth and provide light to those going through similar struggles.
SHEILA HAMILTON // FIVE-TIME EMMY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST
The host of Portland's #1 radio program, Kink.fm, Hamilton watched her world fall apart when her husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ended his life. Sharing her journey from grief to healing, she speaks to the turmoil of mental illness.
BRIAN CUBAN // MENTAL HEALTH & RECOVERY ADVOCATE, BEST-SELLING AUTHOR
The younger brother of Shark Tank’s and the Dallas Maverick’s Mark Cuban, Brian has been in long-term recovery from alcohol, cocaine and bulimia since April of 2007. Author of Shattered Image and The Addicted Lawyer, he examines how people suffering from addiction and mental health issues can redefined their lives and find redemption in recovery.
MIKE VENY // LEADING MENTAL HEALTH SPEAKER & DRUM CIRCLE FACILITATOR
Fiercely committed to wellness, suicide prevention and addressing the stigma surrounding mental illness, Veny delivers educational, engaging, high-energy presentations worldwide. Recognized as one of the most influential people in healthcare, he shares simple tools that audience members can implement immediately.
TANYA BROWN // MENTAL HEALTH & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION ADVOCATE
Sister to the late Nicole Brown Simpson, Tanya has dedicated her life to educating communities on strategies for domestic violence prevention and understanding trauma. Candidly sharing her experience, she offers an inspiring message of hope.
DAMON WEST // ADDICTION, RECOVERY & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
The only athlete in the history of the NCAA to receive a life sentence and parole out of prison, West has made the most of his second chance. As an addict in long-term recovery, this former college quarterback is now dedicated to helping those struggling with substance use disorders and other life-restricting obstacles.
PATRICK KENNEDY // FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE (RI) & CO-FOUNDER, ONE MIND FOR RESEARCH
Calling mental illness, addiction and other brain diseases the “civil rights issue of our time,” Congressman Kennedy was chief sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. His continued policy and advocacy work aims to fix our system and make it equal for all.