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Mike  Veny

Mike Veny

Leading Mental Health Speaker and Teamwork Facilitator Whose Messages Address the Diversity & Inclusion of All

Biography

What do you get when you mix mental health challenges with a passion for drumming? A dynamic speaker and musician who delivers engaging presentations with raw energy and a fresh perspective on Diversity & Inclusion! Read More >

Mike Veny is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, corporate drumming event facilitator, author, and luggage enthusiast. Seriously, you’d completely get it if you did all the traveling he did!

He’s the author of the book Transforming Stigma: How to Become a Mental Wellness Superhero & The Transforming Stigma Workbook. As a 2017 PM360 ELITE Award Winner, Mike is recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the healthcare industry for his work as a patient advocate.

He loves working with leaders who are tired of bringing the same old textbook presentations on mental health or diversity and inclusion to their events. If you are looking for a proven speaker who will connect with, entertain, and engage your audience—all while educating and uniting them around improving wellness—you’ve come to the right place. Mike’s presentations move past simply educating an audience, to providing them with actionable steps they can take to change their lives and work environments.

You can feel confident having Mike as your keynote speaker or workshop facilitator. Over the years, his expertise has been honored with remarkable and notable accolades. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Fender Music Foundation, Rural & Migrant Ministry and the Rotary Club of Wall Street New York; he is an ambassador for Self-Employment in the Arts.

Mike’s path to becoming a public speaker became evident at an early age. He convinced the staff at psychiatric hospitals to discharge him three times during his childhood. In addition to being hospitalized as a child, he was expelled from three schools, attempted suicide, and was medicated in efforts to reduce his emotional instability and behavioral outbursts.

By the fifth grade, Mike was put in a special education class. Aside from getting more individualized attention from the teacher, he learned that pencil erasers make great sounds when tapped on a desk. He had no idea that drumming would become his career or his path to recovery.

As an adult, Mike spent many years facilitating drum workshops for children with special needs, teaching them to channel their energy by banging a drum and at the same time learning how to listen, focus, work together and succeed through teamwork. The project was such a hit that he continued to expand his drumming program, first to adults in recovery and eventually into the corporate setting.

Diversity and Inclusion have been an important part of Mike’s life since childhood. He attended schools where students came from all different kinds of backgrounds—ethnic, religious, and economical. This inspired him to build his company team from a diverse group of people. Embracing Diversity & Inclusion sets a team up to deliver better results, which is a message that he loves to share.

Whether the focus of your event is leadership, motivation, Diversity & Inclusion, or suicide prevention, Mike draws on his personal and painful experiences to deliver keynotes and workshops that take your event to the next level.

With more than fifteen years of experience making meeting planners look good, Mike is committed to:

  • Providing an abundance of helpful information along with actionable steps to audiences.
  • Creating innovative drumming workshops to empower teamwork and inclusion.
  • Delivering epic live events that inspire action.

Mike’s perspectives have been featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS News. He was a former guest on The Fresh Outlook TV news show, a writer for Corporate Wellness Magazine and HealthCentral.com. Mental Illness is An Asset, his compelling TEDx talk, has been used in college classrooms and gotten sensational reviews. He was a keynote speaker at the 2014 YAI Network's International Conference on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and regularly works with chapters of the Arc, largest national community-based organization advocating for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Mike’s authenticity, straightforward approach, and easy-to-understand takeaways set him apart from other speakers. The audience will walk away with knowledge that they can put to use immediately in their own lives, with their loved ones, or in the workplace. It’s not just about sharing knowledge, it’s about teaching people how to take action to improve wellness and inclusion.

It’s that simple!

Mike’s vision for events aligns with your vision—hold a powerful and unforgettable experience that provides real value to your attendees.

Want to get to know Mike a little more?

  • He enjoys weight training.
  • He does Transcendental Meditation for 20 minutes, twice a day.
  • He enjoys a really good bone-in rib eye steak cooked medium-rare.
  • He is ADDICTED to buying luggage, along while watching YouTube videos on how to pack a suitcase.
  • His packing checklist for business trips is one of his most prized possessions.

Connect with Mike today and explore how he can add value to your upcoming event and give your audience a life-changing message. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Mental Illness is an Asset

Unleash Your Groove: Team Building

"A Real Man" with Mike Veny on Depression Recovery

Interview with Depression

Drumming Breakout Session

Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness

ABC8: Quad Cities NAMI Candlelight Recovery Dinner

Highlights Video

Speech Topics

Transforming Stigma® into Strength

Mike Veny shares his story about living with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He will then introduce The Stigma Cycle™: “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. Read More >

Learning Outcomes

  • Through this engaging and entertaining keynote, attendees will learn practical tools to help:
  • Understand The Stigma Cycle™ and what prevents students from asking for help.
  • Understand how to replace shame through self-care.
  • Use conversation to transform silence.
  • Transform sabotage, social injustice, self-destructive behavior, and prevent suicide through connecting with others.

CAS Learning and Development Outcomes

  • Intrapersonal development
  • Humanitarianism and civic engagement
  • Practical competence

Presentation Details Read Less ^

  • 1-hour keynote presentation.
  • Includes the option to purchase a book and a workbook for each student.
  • Often used as part of an existing training or Active Minds programming.

Transforming Stigma® in the Workplace

This program is the best kept secret to improved PRODUCTIVITY and increased PROFITS. Employees will learn practical tools on how to transform stigma into strength and empower employees to get the help that they need. Read More >

Through this engaging and entertaining keynote your employees will learn how to cultivate a culture a self-care, engage in appropriate conversations about mental health and how to connect with the right support resources.

Learning Outcomes

  • Through this engaging and entertaining keynote, attendees will learn practical tools to help:
  • Understand The Stigma Cycle™ and what prevents students from asking for help.
  • Understand how to replace shame through self-care.
  • Use conversation to transform silence.
  • Transform sabotage, social injustice, self-destructive behavior, and prevent suicide through connecting with others.

CAS Learning and Development Outcomes

  • Intrapersonal development
  • Humanitarianism and civic engagement
  • Practical competence

Presentation Details Read Less ^

  • 1-hour keynote presentation.
  • Includes the option to purchase a book and a workbook for each student.
  • Often used as part of an existing training or Active Minds programming.

Transforming Stigma® in College

This popular keynote addresses the mental health challenges on college campuses and is guaranteed to engage your students. They have to balance classes, professors, exams, papers, money, relationships, self-image, family, and the future, and lack of sleep. ANXIETY and DEPRESSION are some of the top concerns for college students. Read More >

There are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses per year and 1 in 5 students will experience a mental health challenge during the next year. The stigma surrounding the subject of mental health is the biggest barrier to students seeking treatment.

Learning Outcomes

  • Through this engaging and entertaining keynote, attendees will learn practical tools to help:
  • Understand The Stigma Cycle™ and what prevents students from asking for help.
  • Understand how to replace shame through self-care.
  • Use conversation to transform silence.
  • Transform sabotage, social injustice, self-destructive behavior, and prevent suicide through connecting with others.

CAS Learning and Development Outcomes

  • Intrapersonal development
  • Humanitarianism and civic engagement
  • Practical competence

Presentation Details Read Less ^

  • 1-hour keynote presentation.
  • Includes the option to purchase a book and a workbook for each student.
  • Often used as part of an existing training or Active Minds programming.

Transforming Stigma® in the Classroom

This educational, energetic, entertaining keynote has been a source of MOTIVATION and SUICIDE PREVENTION for teachers throughout the USA. It’s an abundance of simple and practical steps (with colorful examples) that teachers can take to transform self-destructive behavior – IMMEDIATELY. This presentation offers HOPE and TOOLS for teachers that work with students who are struggling with mental health challenges, behavioral health challenges, and self-destructive behavior. Read More >

Mike Veny shares his story about living with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He will then introduce The Stigma Cycle™: “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.

Learning Outcomes

  • Through this engaging and entertaining keynote, attendees will learn practical tools to help:
  • Understand The Stigma Cycle™ and what prevents students from asking for help.
  • Understand how to replace shame through self-care.
  • Use conversation to transform silence.
  • Transform sabotage, social injustice, self-destructive behavior, and prevent suicide through connecting with others.

CAS Learning and Development Outcomes

  • Intrapersonal development
  • Humanitarianism and civic engagement
  • Practical competence

Presentation Details Read Less ^

  • 1-hour keynote presentation.
  • Includes the option to purchase a book and a workbook for each student.
  • Often used as part of an existing training or Active Minds programming.

Unleash Your Groove™

This program is designed exclusively as a DIVERSITY & INCLUSION program for professional development and team building. Attendees will learn simple music skills, rhythms, and how to work as a team. Most importantly, everyone will learn rhythms by repeating INCLUSIVE phrases out loud, such as, “I Feel Happy When I’m With Friends!” Read More >

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to perform a complex percussion rhythm as a group, perform an original percussion composition, and feel a stronger bond with each other. Lots of music will be made with percussion instruments. Participants will experience smiles, laughter, and excitement through interactive games!

Learning Outcomes:

Through this energetic and engaging workshop, students will learn practical tools to help empower:

Belonging – Everyone has a yearning to belong to something. When you intentionally create an environment that facilitates belonging, it’s the first step to building trust among community. They are empowered to do this through guidelines that teach them to RESPECT each other and embrace DIVERSITY.

Bonding – Once attendees feel a sense of belonging, they become open to bonding with each other. As humans, we have a deep desire to bond with other people – we need to connect with others. The participants are empowered to do this through guidelines that teach them how to WORK TOGETHER and BE HONEST with one another.

Believing – Once attendees genuinely bond with one another, they become a strong team that is open to believing – believing in themselves and something bigger than themselves. Believing leads to a profound sense of CONFIDENCE, SELF ESTEEM, MOTIVATION, & HEALTHY EXPRESSION.

CAS Learning and Development Outcomes:

  • Interpersonal competence
  • Humanitarianism and civic engagement
  • Practical competence

Workshop Details: Read Less ^

  • 1-3 hour interactive workshop.
  • Often used as part of existing training.
  • Every attendee gets a percussion instrument.