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Speaking to the World

Mike  Veny

Mike Veny

Leading Mental Health Speaker & High Energy Drum Circle Facilitator


Mike Veny is one of America’s leading mental health speakers and a high-energy drum circle facilitator. He delivers educational, engaging, and entertaining presentations to meetings and conferences throughout the world. Read More >

Mike is fiercely committed to wellness, suicide prevention, and helping people work together more smoothly. If you are looking for a proven speaker who can address the stigma surrounding mental health and deliver a corporate drumming event, then you have come to the right place.

With 15 years of experience electrifying audiences and making meeting planners look good, his mission is to empower people to connect authentically.

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 3 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.

Mike’s perspectives have been featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS news. He’s a regular 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.

In 2017 he received PM360’s ELITE Award for his work with Transforming Stigma and Health Central. This award represents the 100 most influential people in the healthcare industry and recognizes Veny’s activism in ending the stigma behind mental illness. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos


TEDTalk: Mental Illness is an Asset

How I Address My Mental Health Issues

Interview with Depression

Drumming Breakout Session

ABC8: Quad Cities NAMI Candlelight Recovery Dinner

Speech Topics

Transforming Stigma into Strength™

This is a compelling keynote presentation guaranteed to engage your audience.

  • Mike’s story of how his anger, depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder were both INDISPENSABLE and BENEFICIAL to a successful music career.
  • A fresh way of looking at stigma & funding (they go hand in hand).
  • Designed for adults and professionals in the workplace.
  • 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.
  • Transform shame through being proactive about taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and socially.
  • Transform silence through keeping the subject of mental health in everyday conversation and in school.
  • Transform self-destructive behavior (especially suicidal behavior) through consistently looking for teachable moments to help other people.

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.

Transforming Stigma into Support & Sponsorships™

Designed for organizations, this variation on Transforming Stigma into Strength™ focuses exclusively on how to use the Transforming Stigma™ principles to raise more money and attract more volunteers to your cause. Attendees will learn about how to plan more effectively, develop consistent systems, how to cultivate mental health awareness event ideas, and attract corporate sponsors. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Unleash Your Groove™

This program is designed exclusively for youth.

  • 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.

Drum Up Your Feelings™

This program is designed exclusively as a leadership program for adults. Drumming creates a profound sense of energy with self and synergy others. That’s right, the simple act of having people gather in a circle and bang out a beat can be tremendously uniting, motivating, and downright FUN. Participants will learn simple music skills, rhythms, and how to work as a team. Read More >

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 Less ^

Connect with Mike Veny