Shining a Light on Hope: Empowering Voices for Suicide Prevention Month
13 Sep 2023
September is Suicide Prevention Month: A time for all of us to remember the significance of mental health and how we can all help prevent suicide and instill hope. The speakers below, empowering voices who focus on suicide prevention, can motivate, educate and inspire change during this extremely important time of year and beyond.
Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist & Bestselling Author
Determined to overcome a lifetime of serious mental health challenges, Mike Veny began his career as a professional drummer and evolved into becoming a changemaker in the workplace wellness industry. He is fiercely committed to empowering employees to discover the gift of emotional wellness so they can accelerate personal and professional growth. Mike is the author of several books, including the bestselling book, Transforming Stigma: How to Become a Mental Wellness Superhero.
Author, Recovering Addict & Subject of Beautiful Boy
Nic Sheff’s heartbreaking and inspiring struggle with substance abuse disorder is the story of Beautiful Boy, a major motion picture. The film is based on Nic’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines. Sharing an unglamorized, authentic and heart-touching story of substance abuse and recovery that is deeply rooted in mental illness, Nic has been recognized as “a life-changing speaker.” His deeply engaging talks put a compelling human face on our nation’s substance abuse epidemic, encouraging those who struggle to embrace help and bringing hope to all who are touched by it.
Speaker On Mental Health & Suicide Prevention
In 2015 after an amazing career in the financial services industry and working for the U.S. Treasury Department and for the Clinton administration, Susan Levine attempted to commit suicide, which left her a double amputee. She slowly recovered both mentally and physically and today is a deeply inspiring speaker on mental health and suicide prevention. She is also active in the nonprofit world and serves on many boards.
Legendary Folk Singer & Activist
Following her son's suicide, iconic singer Judy Collins survived her grief through her passion for words and music. Today, she shares her moving experience, touching all who have endured the sorrow of losing a loved one. In the depths of her suffering, Collins found relief by reaching out to others for help and support. Now she extends her hand to comfort other survivors whose lives have been affected by similar tragedies. Honest and inspiring, her story helps soothe and heal those wounded by suicide and depression.
Mental Health & Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate
After the loss of her sister, Nicole Brown Simpson, Tanya Brown became a domestic violence advocate to inform people about the horror of abuse at home. Ten years after the loss of Nicole, Tanya suffered a mental breakdown. As a result, she has made a personal commitment to speak on the issues of how to overcome adversity and promote HEALTHY mental health for overall wellbeing. She encourages her audiences to find peace amid daily chaos and learn the tools for integrating self-care for a life of optimal wellness.
Mental Health and Recovery Advocate & Bestselling Author
Brian Cuban, the younger brother of Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, is a Dallas-based attorney, author and addiction recovery advocate. Brian’s bestselling book, The Addicted Lawyer, is an unflinching look back at how addiction and other mental health issues destroyed his career and how he and others redefined their lives in recovery and found redemption. He is an extraordinary speaker who captivates and inspires.
Five-time Emmy Award-Winning Journalist, Mental Health Advocate & CEO Beyond Well Solutions
After the death of her husband from suicide, understanding mental health and how we can prevent serious mental illness became Sheila Hamilton’s singular reporting passion. This five-time Emmy award-winning journalist and former host of Portland, Oregon's #1 radio program, is now CEO of Beyond Well Solutions, which provides mental health programming for Fortune 500 companies interested in improving mental health and wellbeing. She is also the host of Spotify’s fastest-growing mental health program, “Beyond Well With Sheila Hamilton.”
Certified Suicide Prevention Trainer & Award-Winning Author
Anne Moss is an emotionally naked® speaker, TEDx storyteller, certified suicide prevention trainer, NAMI Virginia board member and the award-winning author of Diary of a Broken Mind. After her 20-year-old son, Charles died by suicide in 2015, Anne chronicled her family’s tragedy in a newspaper article that went viral, and her blog, Emotionally Naked, has reached millions. She captures the audience's hearts and fills them with hope.
18th U.S. Surgeon General, Healthcare Disparity Expert & Medicine Advocate
Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA is the Founder and CEO of Bayou Clinic and was the 18th United States Surgeon General (2009-2013). Dr. Benjamin specializes in prevention policies and health promotion among individuals as well as large populations, especially concerning obesity, childhood obesity and children’s health. She has a special interest in rural health care, health disparities among socioeconomic groups, suicide, violence and mental health. Her commitment to making the world a healthier place shines through in every presentation she delivers.
New York Jets DE, Co-Founder & Board Chair of the Defensive Line
NFL player Solomon Thomas is Co-Founder and Board Chair of The Defensive Line—a nonprofit focusing on helping build a world in which no young person of color dies by suicide. Thomas’s sister, Ella Thomas, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2018. Solomon has worked with myriad nonprofit organizations to raise awareness and secure funds for mental health and suicide prevention work, including panel member at events for American Foundation Suicide Prevention Gala, Mental Health America, San Francisco Suicide Prevention, NFLPA Super Bowl Players Summit, Kick the Stigma and Bring Change 2 Mind.