Active Minds Speakers

More than one million people have heard our speakers’ stories of hope since 2009

giving hope a voice

create a memorable experience for your group

SPECIAL NOTE: In this new era of hybrid work and learning, we offer virtual presentations and workshops through Zoom in addition to in-person presentations. Learn more about hosting a virtual presentation with your community. Learn more about hosting a virtual presentation with your community.

Research shows that peer-to-peer outreach is the best way to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health and encourage people, especially young adults, to seek help if they need it. That’s why Active Minds’ speakers are so effective. Their personal stories show that mental health struggles are common and there is both help and hope. Their relatable presentations interweave key mental health messages, creating an inspiring and educational experience for your audience.

Contact us to find out how to host one of our acclaimed speakers for a memorable lecture, keynote, workshop, panel, webinar, or other type of speaking engagement.

Our professional speakers provide engaging, encouraging, and safe mental health education that’s tailored for students, young adults, educators, professional groups, parents, and other audiences.

Learn more about hosting an online event

 

Get in touch and we’ll explain how to book one of our exceptional speakers!

Presentations are available online, as well as in-person.

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Speakers By Topic

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Kevin Briggs

Suicide Prevention
Active Listening
Veterans & First Responders

Kevin Briggs

He/Him

Kevin Briggs

Kevin Briggs

He/Him

Kevin Briggs shares his experiences while patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge as both an officer and a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol and includes his own personal story of physical and mental health challenges including recovery, military service, surviving the suicide of a loved one, divorce, and depression.

Briggs’ story has been featured in The New Yorker, People, and Men’s Health magazines and on The Steve Harvey Show and NPR’s Bob Edward’s Radio Show. Kevin also received the 2016 Visionary Leadership Award from the National Council for Behavioral Health.

Meet Kevin

Carli Bushoven

Athletes
Life Transitions
Social Media & Mental Health

Carli Bushoven

She/Her

Carli Bushoven

Carli Bushoven

She/Her

Carli tragically lost her younger sister, Madison Holleran, to suicide on January 17, 2014, which was just two weeks after Carli’s first child was born. Beautiful, athletic, kind, and smart, Madison was thought by many to have “had it all.” Her death came as a shock to not only her family, but her friends, community, and people across the country – and became the catalyst for the NYTimes bestselling book “What Made Maddy Run? by Kate Fagan and published by Little, Brown and Company.

Meet Carli

Pablo Campos

Stigma Reduction
Substance Use
Suicide Prevention

Pablo Campos

He/Him

Pablo Campos

Pablo Campos

He/Him

Pablo Campos grew up angry and frustrated. He discusses how he engaged in increasingly risky behaviors and polysubstance abuse, which led to an attempt to take his own life during his senior year of high school.

Today, with a clear diagnosis and a treatment plan, Pablo has begun his road to recovery. He talks about how stigma, cultural norms, and a lack of education affected him and how through help seeking, education, and a strong support network he has grown from being his own worst enemy to a powerful participant in his recovery.

He shares his story to encourage others to seek help, build peer support and to create a healthier sense of community.

Meet Pablo

Colleen Coffey

Being Enough
Eating Disorders
Greek Life

Colleen Coffey

She/Her

Colleen Coffey

Colleen Coffey

She/Her

With a family history of mental health disorders, Colleen Coffey was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, disordered eating and obsessive/compulsive disorder at a young age but did not get correct treatment until much later in life. In spite of a high school and college career that included leadership positions, starring roles, and popularity, Colleen silently suffered panic attacks, extreme stress, and feelings of emptiness.

While in graduate school, she found proper treatment, and with a combination of psychiatric and medical doctors, a therapist and a nutritionist, she broke out of the cycle of being angry, sad, anxious and preoccupied. She learned that diagnoses don’t lead her life, healthy coping skills were accessible, and she was good enough as herself.

Colleen has become a widely-sought speaker and consultant, devoted to showing audiences that mental health disorders are often a product of biology or environment, or both, and that recovery is possible, stigma is useless, and everyone holds the power to transform communities.

Meet Colleen

Becky Fein

Sexual Assault
Trauma
Workplace Mental Health

Becky Fein

She/Her

Becky Fein

Becky Fein

She/Her

Becky was in her third year of college when she was raped. Struggling with stigma, rape culture, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Becky Fein’s healing journey began when she disclosed her story to a friend, after learning that she, too, had been raped. While on a path towards her own recovery and resilience, Becky discovered the importance of being present for a friend who is struggling, the impact of trauma on individuals and communities, and tangible steps towards making our social circles and college campuses safer, more supportive spaces.

Becky received her Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University with the goal of learning about and changing the culture around rape and sexual assault. Her talks are rooted in evidence-based principles of bystander intervention and empowering people to share their stories in service to their own healing, in whatever way is right for them. Becky’s presentations are interactive and action-oriented. Participants will leave with a more nuanced understanding of the complexity of mental health issues and will feel empowered to respond productively when faced with a related situation in their own lives.

Since grad school her career has been centered around the broader conversation of mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder, survivor empowerment, and giving recovery a voice.

Meet Becky

Meg Hutchinson

Bipolar Disorder
Depression
Recovery Through Creativity

Meg Hutchinson

She/Her

Meg Hutchinson

Meg Hutchinson

She/Her

Meg Hutchinson is a Boston-based singer-songwriter, poet, interfaith hospital chaplain, and recording artist on Red House Records. At 19, she began struggling with the deep depressions that accompanied the onset of Bipolar I Disorder but waited nearly a decade to seek treatment. After becoming suicidal and being hospitalized several times in 2006, Meg took control of her treatment and now tells her story of recovery through art, spiritual practice, and education. She has been recognized for her dedication to mental health advocacy with awards from Johns Hopkins and NAMI.

Meet Meg

Dr. Kristen Lee

Faculty/Staff Trainings
Workplace Mental Health
Resilience

Dr. Kristen Lee

She/Her/They

Dr. Kristen Lee

Dr. Kristen Lee

She/Her/They

Dr. Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, she/they, known as “Dr. Kris”, is an internationally recognized, award-winning behavioral science clinician, researcher educator, speaker, comedian, and activist from Boston, Massachusetts. As the Lead Faculty for Behavioral Science and Faculty-in-Residence at Northeastern University, Dr. Kris’s research and teaching interests include individual and organizational well-being and resilience, particularly for marginalized and underserved populations. Dr. Kris works with organizations and leaders around the world on how to use the science of behavioral change and human potential to build healthy mental health cultures that help prevent burnout and promote organizational and human sustainability. She is the author of RESET: Make the Most of Your Stress, Winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Motivational Book of 2015, best-selling Mentalligence: A New Psychology of Thinking-Learn What it Takes to be More Agile, Mindful and Connected in Today’s World, and Worth the Risk: How to Microdose Bravery to Grow Resilience, Connect More, and Offer Yourself to the World. Dr. Kris is the host of Crackin’ Up: Where Therapy Meets Comedy. She is a regular contributor for Psychology Today and Thrive Global. Dr. Kris’s work has been featured on NPR, Ted, Forbes, Fast Company, and CBS radio. Her TedX talk, The Risk You Must Take, has over 313 K views.

Meet Dr. Kris

Alison Malmon

Stigma Reduction
Suicide Prevention
Workplace Mental Health

Alison Malmon

She/Her

Alison Malmon

Alison Malmon

She/Her

Alison Malmon defines herself as a sister first. When her big brother Brian died by suicide during her freshman year of college, Alison was devastated – and was left with more questions than answers. Why him? Why hadn’t she known how much he was struggling?

Turning tragedy into action, she started a group on her campus at the University of Pennsylvania to give students like herself the platform and tools to change the conversation about mental health. Now, more than 15 years later, Alison has cultivated that small student group into the internationally recognized nonprofit organization, Active Minds.

Alison shares her story to inspire others to speak out and be heard, to not suffer in silence, and to help fight the stigma surrounding mental illness, and continues to inspire audiences with her story and calls to action.

Meet Alison

Stacy Pershall

Borderline Personality Disorder
Bullying
Eating Disorders

Stacy Pershall

She/Her

Stacy Pershall

Stacy Pershall

She/Her

Born in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, at a time and place when mental health treatment was rarely spoken about, and even more rarely available, Stacy’s early symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder went largely unnoticed for years. Fortunately, both Stacy and Arkansas have learned a lot since then.

As a suicide attempt survivor, Stacy found dialectical behavior therapy after moving to New York City and proved to herself and others that it is possible to recover from BPD. Her presentation focuses on bullying (including cyber-bullying), eating disorders, distinguishing Borderline Personality Disorder from Bipolar Disorder, the power of mental health activism, and body modification as a healing agent.

Meet Stacy

Kai Roberts

Anxiety
Men and Mental Health
Recovery Through Creativity

Kai Roberts

He/Him

Kai Roberts

Kai Roberts

He/Him

In his high energy “Active Mic: Mental Health Through Music” presentation, Kai tells the story of his battle with panic attacks and Generalized Anxiety Disorder through interactive dialogue and hip-hop music. From the beginning, the audience is engrossed in the origins of his anxiety, gradually taking the journey into his emotions, through his disorder, and into his recovery. Be prepared for good music, meaningful messages, and an overall good time.

Meet Kai

David Romano

Depression
Men and Mental Health
Stigma Reduction

David Romano

He/Him

David Romano

David Romano

He/Him

When David Romano began to feel the early symptoms of depression in middle school, he thought everyone felt that way, and that it was part of growing up. When he reached tenth grade and depression turned into a sense of darkness enveloping him, David assumed that he was failing everyone, including himself, and that he wasn’t the man he was supposed to be.

The popular student and multi-sport athlete tried to maintain his outward image as the fun, goofy kid, and used sports and other activities to cover his inner struggle. A mental health checklist he read in health class shone a light on his symptoms, and he began a treatment plan under the care of a professional.

After some ups and downs, he found the right combination of medication and therapy, and has focused his energies on self-healing and spreading awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.

Meet David

Abraham Sculley

Cultural Stigma
Depression
Life Transitions

Abraham Sculley

He/Him

Abraham Sculley

Abraham Sculley

He/Him

Abraham Sculley is the founder of Speaks 2 Inspire, bestselling author, podcaster, advocate, and Active Minds Speaker on a mission to eradicate mental health stigma. He developed a passion for mental health from his battle with depression during college. Shortly after, Abraham received his degree in Psychology and set on a mission to impact audiences across the country by sharing his story. He has collaborated with many organizations to create safe spaces for honest conversations about mental health and illness. Today, he partners with higher education leaders, school professionals, and student leaders to support young adult mental health and wellbeing.

Meet Abraham

Ivy Watts

Athletes
Faculty & Staff Training
People of Color & Mental Health

Ivy Watts

She/Her

Ivy Watts

Ivy Watts

She/Her

A former All-American student-athlete who appeared to have it all together, graduating Summa Cum Laude and a top 30 finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, on the inside, she struggled daily with anxiety, self-worth, and depression. After finally seeking help, Ivy, who is Mental Health First Aid Certified, now promotes mental wellness and reduces stigma around mental health by sharing her story through public speaking and her blog, Beautifully Simply You. She empowers others to speak their truths, know that they are not alone, learn the beauty of self-love and find strength to keep fighting for their tomorrows. Ivy has her undergrad degree in psychology from University of New Haven and her Masters in Public Health from Boston University.

Meet Ivy

Greg Vogt

Life Transitions
Greek Life
Suicide Prevention

Greg Vogt

He/Him

Greg Vogt

Greg Vogt

He/Him

In his raw and transformational speeches, Greg unfolds his journey from living a typical childhood to battling depression, suicide attempts, and spending a year in a mental health treatment center.  A story of personal recovery and healing, Greg faces unexpected external obstacles when he experiences the tragic loss of his favorite high school teacher by suicide, and then of one of his best college friends in a car accident.

The road to recovery began during his time at a mental health center as a teenager, where he had been sent when his mental health became life-threatening. There, Greg discovered the power of vulnerability, the importance of real relationships, and the act of admitting faults. While in the treatment center, he realized the opportunity he had to pursue a path of mental wellness.

Meet Greg

Frank Warren

Community Response to Tragedy
Stigma Reduction
Suicide Prevention

Frank Warren

He/Him

Frank Warren

Frank Warren

He/Him

Frank Warren, “The Most Trusted Stranger in America” and founder of PostSecret.com, travels around the country, sharing a collection of highly personal secrets on artfully decorated postcards mailed anonymously from around the world.

From deep family secrets to funny reflections, Warren has seen it all. He discusses how he started the project, his own secrets, why the blog has changed lives and brought people together, and why he has made suicide awareness part of his life’s work.

Audiences will also get to see postcards that were banned from the books and have the opportunity to share their own secrets live during the interactive program.

Meet Frank

Michael Zibilich

Suicide Prevention
Men and Mental Health
Parents

Michael Zibilich

He/Him

Michael Zibilich

Michael Zibilich

He/Him

Over the last four years, Michael has spoken about suicide awareness to thousands of university students throughout the United States. His message is simple – In the fight against suicide, all of us must consider ourselves as first responders, in our own lives and in the lives of those we know and love.

Michael is a commercial real estate executive who resides with his wife, Gayle, in Atlanta, Georgia. Tragically, on April 21, 2012, they lost their only child, Michael “Keller” Zibilich – a second semester Sigma Chi freshman at LSU –  to suicide

Devastated by this inexplicable loss, they have dedicated their time and resources to promoting suicide education and awareness to college students throughout America. With the help of family and friends, they partnered with the Sigma Chi Foundation to create the “Keller Zibilich Fund” and “The Keller Zibilich Sigma Chi Lifeline Program” – both a suicide prevention hotline and an in-depth suicide education and prevention curriculum (Strong Arms) for all 17,000 active Sigma Chi’s across the nation.

Meet Michael

Donovan Taylor Hall

LGBTQ Community
Self-Care/Recovery
Youth Mental Health

Donovan Taylor Hall

He/Him

Donovan Taylor Hall

Donovan Taylor Hall

He/Him

Donovan aims to equip kids with tools to build positive relationships with themselves. A child’s positive self-identity will experience higher levels of life satisfaction, motivation, and self-determination. He is committed to the full development of kids, not just academics. Through social-emotional learning, educational psychology, and positive youth development, he has created programs and curriculum that aims to help kids become their own best friend. The point of the work is not to stop kids from struggling but instead to empower them to take care of themselves through the struggles that make them who they are. 

Meet Donovan

Anthony Sartori

Faculty/Staff Training
Mindfulness
Workplace Mental Health

Anthony Sartori

He/Him

Anthony Sartori

Anthony Sartori

He/Him

After earning a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Anthony Sartori led mindfulness programs at an outpatient clinic for youth with mental health challenges. He is a graduate of Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield’s two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Program. In March of 2020, he launched a nonprofit, Evolving Minds, with a mission: to create a culture of care. He has developed impactful mental health programming for students, educators, nonprofit professionals, and socially conscious organizations and graduated over 500 alumni. He currently is an Active Minds Speaker, leads the development of mindfulness content for health care workers with Vitalize, a digital wellness startup, sits on the Mental Health for America Young Adult Leader Council, and serves as the Equity and Interdependence Committee Board Rep for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), a nationally renowned mindfulness nonprofit.

Meet Anthony

Dayna Altman

Youth Mental Health
Recovery through Creativity
Depression

Dayna Altman

She/Her

Dayna Altman

Dayna Altman

She/Her

Dayna Altman is an energetic and dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, author, and creator. The full force and sole operator of Bake it Till You Make it LLC, Dayna harvests her passion for mental health advocacy by using food and baking to create an authentic recipe for vulnerable storytelling. A nationally recognized mental health leader by the Biden-Harris administration, a dual graduate of Northeastern University and an active Boston community member, Dayna has experience both working in the mental health field and with youth-based non-profits. Currently, Dayna pursues writing poetry, documentary filmmaking, and exploring new ways to change the world using her own story. Living with depression and OCD, as well as being in recovery from an eating disorder and sexual assault, Dayna works each day to become her message. 

Meet Dayna

How much does it cost to host an Active Minds speaker?

Our inclusive pricing and dependable service means there are no surprises. We will work closely with you to help you create a memorable, educational, and inspiring experience for your audience that fits within your budget.

Fees vary by the speaker selected, format, nature of the event, number of presentations, travel required, and any additional programming requested. Most engagements cost between $2,000 and $5,000, although fees may vary based on travel, selected speaker, and other factors. Please contact Active Minds for a formal quote by filling out a Host Application form.

Online events are now available. 

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

  • January 4Olney Central College - Chapter Olney, IL, In-Person Event

    Featuring: David Romano
  • January 5Henry Ford College Dearborn, MI, Virtual Event

    Featuring: Abraham Sculley, Kristen Lee
  • February 7SUNY Polytechnic Institute Utica, NY, In-Person Event

    Featuring: Carli Bushoven, David Romano
  • February 17Coe College Cedar Rapids, IA, In-Person Event

    Featuring: Frank Warren
  • February 23Brown University Providence, RI, In-Person Event

    Featuring: Stacy Pershall
  • March 14Revere High School Richfield, OH, In-Person Event

    Featuring: Kai Roberts
  • April 13Orange County Community College Middletown, NY, In-Person Event

    Featuring: Abraham Sculley, Michael Zibilich, Ivy Watts, Carli Bushoven, Kai Roberts
  • April 29Hendrick Hudson High School Montrose, NY, In-Person Event

    Featuring: Pablo Campos
  • October 13Broward College Fort Lauderdale, FL, In-Person Event

    Featuring: Stacy Pershall

Already have an event planned?

If you already have an event date, budget, and speaker in mind, please complete our

Host Application

After hearing Becky’s personal story and the effect it had on the trajectory of her life, I can say that being witness to her presentation will be an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I feel very grateful to have been exposed to such an honest and helpful presentation about a subject that is often unspoken.

Alec Rich

Active Minds & Project Wake Up

An all-new virtual suicide prevention program and film

Active Minds is proud to partner with Project Wake Up to share the moving suicide documentary film, Wake Up, a feature-length documentary about the suicide epidemic, with campuses and organizations across the country.

Watch the Trailer and Learn More