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Mike  Veny

Mike Veny

Leading Mental Health Speaker & Corporate Drumming Event Facilitator


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

Mike Veny is a highly sought-after keynote mental health 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. As a 2017 PM360 ELITE Award Winner, Mike is recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the healthcare industry.

He loves working with leaders who are tired of bringing the same old textbook presentations 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.

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 and the Rotary Club of Wall Street New York; he is an ambassador for Self-Employment in the Arts and was a presenter at the Haiti Entrepreneurship Camp.

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 a great sound 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.

Whether the focus of your event is leadership, motivation, or suicide prevention, Mike draws on his personal and painful experiences to deliver keynotes, presentations, 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:

  • Provide an abundance of helpful information to audiences
  • Create innovative drumming workshops to empower teamwork
  • Deliver 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.

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 that simple!

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

Want to get to know Mike a little more?

  • He doesn’t use PowerPoint or speak with notes in his presentations. (Hint: That’s where all that authenticity comes from.)
  • He’s a member of the Rotary Club of Wall Street. Being a Rotarian has contributed to his happiness.
  • He loves to travel and is obsessed with luggage, packing techniques, and travel checklists.
  • He takes his morning routine very seriously
  • He enjoys a really good bone-in rib eye steak cooked medium rare.

Connect with Mike today and explore how he can add value to your upcoming event and give your audience the memory of a lifetime. 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™

This is a compelling keynote presentation guaranteed to engage your audience. 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health challenge during in the next year. The stigma surrounding the subject of mental health is the biggest barrier to people seeking treatment. 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. Attendees will learn practical tools on how to transform stigma into strength and empower people in their lives to get the help that they need.

Transforming Stigma in Youth™

As a variation on Transforming Stigma into Strength™, this energetic, entertaining, compelling and PG-13 program has been a source of MOTIVATION and SUICIDE PREVENTION for students throughout the world. It’s an abundance of simple and practical steps that at-risk youth can take to transform self-destructive behavior – IMMEDIATELY. This program offers HOPE for students who are struggling with mental health challenges, behavioral health challenges, and self-destructive behavior.

Transforming Stigma in College™

Another variation on Transforming Stigma into Strength™, this program addresses the mental health challenges on college campuses. Students 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. NOTE: There are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses per year. This program offers practical tools to help students succeed.

Celebrating Success in Recovery™

Recovery is a never-ending journey for people with mental health and substance abuse challenges. Like any journey, recovery comes with challenges and obstacles. Based on his own experience with mental health challenges and addiction, Mike offers attendees an empowering framework for staying focused on their sobriety to achieve a new level of self-discovery.

Unleash Your Groove™

This program is designed exclusively as a leadership program for adults and youth. Participants 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!”  By the end of this session, participants will be able to perform a complex percussion rhythm as a group, perform an original percussion composition, and feel a stronger bond with participants. Lots of music will be made with percussion instruments. Participants will experience smiles, laughter, and excitement through interactive games. Read More >

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  • 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 youth. They are empowered to do this through guidelines that teach them to RESPECT each other and embrace DIVERSITY.
  • Bonding – Once youth 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. They are empowered to do this through guidelines that teach them how to WORK TOGETHER and BE HONEST with one another.
  • Believing – Once youth genuinely bond with one another, they become open to believing – believing in themselves and something bigger than themselves. Believing leads to a profound sense of CONFIDENCE, SELF ESTEEM, MOTIVATION, & HEALTHY EXPRESSION.