Active Minds National Conference 2021

presenters

We asked each presenter: “What is one population that you are particularly passionate about changing the mental health conversation among?”

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano has spent almost her entire life in the public eye. Alyssa is an actor (“Who’s the Boss”, “Charmed”, “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later”), producer, entrepreneur, activist, NY Times Best-Selling author and podcast host (“Alyssa Milano: Sorry Not Sorry”).

As an activist, Milano chooses to shine a spotlight on causes that matter deeply to her, including mental health, sexual harassment, and assault. Her advancement of #MeToo sparked a viral movement of women fighting against sexual harassment and assault and she has been involved in TimesUp since its inception. She recently joined the ERA Coalition’s Advisory Council and is the ACLU’s Ambassador for Reproductive Rights. In early 2020, Milano fell ill to a severe case of COVID-19 that not only affected her physical health but mental health as well. She recently wrote a heartfelt think piece about her experience battling the virus.

 

Twitter: @Alyssa_Milano

Nkechi Okoro Carroll

Nkechi Okoro Carroll

Nkechi Okoro Carroll

Nkechi Okoro Carroll

Nkechi Okoro Carroll is the Executive Producer of the Greg Berlanti-produced drama series “All American,” the acclaimed Netflix show that highlights the myriad issues that young adults face today.

Prior to “All American,” Okoro Carroll served as Co-Executive Producer on the drama series “The Resident” and “Rosewood.” Her other television producing credits include, “Bones” and “The Finder.” Additionally, Okoro Carroll is in an exclusive, multiyear overall deal with Warner Bros Studios.

Born in New York, raised in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and England, Okoro Carroll earned a B.A. in Economics and French from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in International Economics from New York University. Prior to her television writing career, Okoro Carroll worked for the Federal Reserve where her responsibilities included managing the reserve position for the U.S. Banking system and analyzing the impact of monetary policy decisions on the domestic money markets. All of which she did while still writing and producing plays in New York.

 

Twitter: @kech99

Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott is a talented designer, loving mom, passionate philanthropist, and driven entrepreneur.

Kendra designed her first collection of jewelry in 2002 with just $500 and has since grown the company to a billion-dollar valuation with over 100 stores nationwide and a thriving e-commerce and wholesale business. According to a 2018 PitchBook study, Kendra is among only 16 women in the United States to carry the title of founder of a company valued at one billion dollars.

Kendra is passionate about creating a brand and a culture that supports women, values family, and encourages an entrepreneurial mindset. She has pioneered a new way of interacting with consumers through brand experiences that genuinely engage her community.

Kendra actively seeks out opportunities to mentor and support other entrepreneurs, especially women leaders. Beginning September 2019, she is proud to give new life to this passion through a new program at the University of Texas at Austin: The Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute. This program will build a pipeline of courageous, creative female leaders who will change the world – in business and beyond.

 

Twitter: @KendraScott

Alison Malmon

Young adults

Alison Malmon

Alison Malmon

Alison Malmon

Alison Malmon is the founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, and a sought-after mental health expert. Alison formed the organization in 2003 as a 21-year-old, following the suicide of her brother and only sibling Brian. Wanting to end the silence that caused her brother to suffer alone and ultimately take his own life, Alison created a group on her campus at the University of Pennsylvania to promote open dialogue around mental health. Since then, Active Minds has grown into the country’s foremost mental health organization for students and young adults, with award-winning programs and a vibrant network of campus chapters located at more than 550 colleges, universities, and high schools nationwide.

Sam Brinton

LGBTQ young people

Sam Brinton

Sam Brinton

Sam Brinton

Sam is one of the world’s leading advocates for LGBTQ youth. They are the founder of the 50 Bill 50 States campaign at The Trevor Project to end the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, first in the United States and then around the globe. As a survivor of conversion therapy, Sam has spoken before the United Nations and Congress as well as testified on legislation from coast to coast to support the mental health of LGBTQ youth across the country. They have been featured in numerous media including a recent New York Times op-ed as well as The Washington Post, Playboy Magazine, and TIME Magazine. Sam uses they, them, or theirs as their pronouns as a genderfluid person.

 

Twitter: @sbrinton, @TrevorProject

Sarah Brown

Students of color who might lack access to or distrust mental-health resources

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown joined The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2015 and covers campus culture, including Title IX, race and diversity, and mental health. She has written about how colleges handle — and mishandle — cases of sexual assault and harassment, whether higher ed is really committed to racial equity, and how mental-health struggles are derailing students, academically and otherwise. Sarah’s bylines have appeared in The New York Times and other newspapers, and she makes regular broadcast-media appearances for The Chronicle.

 

Twitter: @Brown_e_Points

Joe Behen, PhD

Art students

Joe Behen, PhD

Joe Behen, PhD

Joe Behen, PhD

Joseph Behen, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of Counseling, Health & Disability Services at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and has been on staff since 1994.  He was project director for SAIC CARES, a three year (2011-2014) suicide prevention effort at SAIC funded by a SAMHSA suicide prevention grant.  He was recipient of the 2015 Gallagher Koster Innovative Practices Award funded by the American College Health Foundation for the project College Health and Counseling Services as Essential Champions for Transgender Student Well-being.  He has guided SAIC’s participation in several national, collaborative efforts addressing college student mental health, including the Bringing Theory to Practice Project, the National College Depression Partnership, the Healthy Minds Study, and a NIMH-funded study of Mental Health First Aid.

Kevin Briggs

Adolescents

Kevin Briggs

Kevin Briggs

Kevin Briggs

Briggs, a retired California Highway Patrol sergeant, spent many years patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge. While on patrol, he encountered numerous individuals clinging to life by a thread – individuals who had lost hope and could see no way out of their current situation – ready to jump off the bridge to what they assumed was a sudden death and ending of their pain and hopelessness. Briggs, through his compassion, gentle voice, eye contact, and his innate ability of “listening to understand” encouraged more than 200 individuals over his career to not end their life, but to begin a new chapter.  These challenging but rewarding efforts earned him the nickname “Guardian of the Golden Gate.” After 23 years with the California Highway Patrol, Briggs retired to dedicate his life to promote mental health awareness across the globe. Briggs has been featured at the Technology, Entertainment, and Design 2014 Conference as a TED Talk, Ciudad de Las Ideas (Mexico), NBC’s Access Live, Yahoo News, The New Yorker Magazine, Men’s Health Magazine, NPR’s Bob Edwards Radio Show, People Magazine, USA Today, as well as other magazines, newspapers, radio, and podcasts across the world. His first book, Guardian of the Golden Gate: Protecting the Line Between Hope and Despair, was released in July 2015.

Carli Bushoven

High school seniors and young adults

Carli Bushoven

Carli Bushoven

Carli Bushoven

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.  Shortly after Maddy’s death, Carli helped form the Madison Holleran Foundation in an effort to keep Madison’s memory alive and to support others who are struggling with mental illness. Passionate for suicide awareness and prevention, Carli shares Madison’s story in an effort to inspire others to speak out about their mental health struggles and end the stigma that prevented her sister from getting the help that she needed when she needed it.

Instagram: @carliibee, @madisonholleranfoundation

Pablo Campos, MSW, LCSW-A

Pablo Campos, MSW, LCSW-A

Pablo Campos, MSW, LCSW-A

Pablo Campos, MSW, LCSW-A

Pablo Campos is a professional mental health speaker for Active Minds and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. In his presentations, he discusses how he engaged in increasingly risky behaviors and polysubstance abuse and how these behaviors showed up at work. After a precise diagnosis and treatment plan, Pablo has been in recovery since May of 2008 which he defines for himself as being free from drug and alcohol use while maintaining stable and strong mental health. 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 to an influential participant in his recovery. He shares his story to encourage others to build peer support and to create a healthier sense of community.

 

Instagrm: @Pabbyluvsu

Jen Castillo

High-achieving students

Jen Castillo

Jen Castillo

Jen Castillo

Jen Castillo is the Senior Manager of Scholarships at NSCS and also manages the Active Minds national partnership for the organization. In this role, Jen helps to incorporate Active Minds into NSCS programming to educate members on the importance of mental health education on college campuses. NSCS chapters host events, provide Active Minds resources, and fundraise to support Active Minds’ mission.

 

Instagram: @nscs

Stephen Chen

Students and artists

Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen

Stephen is the President of the Active Minds chapter at the Savannah College of Art and Design and a member of the Active Minds Student Ambassadors. He is currently studying Motion Media and Animation, an aspiring installation artist. Realizing the widespread stigma and misconceptions amongst student artists, Stephen and his fellow student leaders started an Active Minds chapter on campus.

Chris Clark

College Students

Chris Clark

Chris Clark

Chris Clark

Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, TimelyMD

Chris is passionate about helping business decision-makers, healthcare executives and providers realize the transformative power and utility of telemedicine to address a range of challenges experienced in healthcare today. In the past 16 years, Chris has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility in the biopharmaceutical industry spanning, sales, executive account management, strategy development and sales leadership. In his biopharmaceutical career, he worked for two industry leading organizations, Merck and Amgen.

Christina Desnoyers

Black youth

Christina Desnoyers

Christina Desnoyers

Christina Desnoyers

Christina Desnoyers is a lover of all things social impact. With both music industry and classroom experience, she had the opportunity to merge the two by creating a 9-12 Speech and Communications course through the lens of Hip Hop. Professionally, Christina blooms at the intersection of arts/media, culture and education.

Macy Faust

Human trafficking survivors

Macy Faust

Macy Faust

Macy Faust

Macy has lived all throughout the state of Texas but currently calls North Texas her home. She is a senior at The University of North Texas studying Rehabilitation, Addictions, and Counseling, with dreams of becoming a mental health therapist. Through her experience as an Active Minds Leader on her campus, Macy has helped foster genuine friendships and connect students to mental health resources. Macy has experience with support group facilitation, peer mentorship, mental health education, and leadership. Whenever Macy is not involved with school, she volunteers as a Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line and enjoys yoga, drinking coffee, and reading.

Becky Fein

Young people

Becky Fein

Becky Fein

Becky Fein

Becky Fein is an Active Minds Speaker and the Director of Engagement and Training at Active Minds, the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for students and young adults. Becky studied Sociology at UC Davis and earned a master’s degree in Public Health at Columbia University. Becky’s expertise centers around engaging people in productive, thoughtful conversations about complex issues of mental health, sexual assault, suicide, and more, all with the goal of encouraging people to show up for one another in meaningful ways.

 

Instagram: @beckyfein

Amy Gatto

Young adults

Amy Gatto

Amy Gatto

Amy Gatto

Amy is interested in the relationship between health and education. Blending together her experiences as a former high school teacher, higher education health educator, and young adult health researcher, she has found a niche in working to improve adolescent and young adult mental health.Amy is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida in the College of Public Health, holds a Master in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Elon University.

Anushka Gupta

BIPOC students

Anushka Gupta

Anushka Gupta

Anushka Gupta

Anushka Gupta is the co-president and co-founder of the Active Minds chapter at John L. Miller Great Neck North High School. She is also a member of the Student Advisory Council for Active Minds. After her personal experience with mental illness, Anushka has realized the importance of educating and advocating for mental health in her community. She loves to plan interactive meetings and events for her Active Mind’s club at school to engage her peers and spark a discussion amongst them. In her free time, Anushka also enjoys playing tennis with her friends, listening to music, and reading.

Instagram: @agupt0328

Rahab Hammad

Snap team members and their dependents

Rahab Hammad

Rahab Hammad

Rahab Hammad

Rahab joined Snap 5 years ago and heads up their Benefits & Well-Being department. Her mission is to build a culture and community at Snap that empowers and equips team members to improve the quality of their lives, make their well-being a top priority and unlock their unique hyper performance.

Hayley Harnicher

Loss survivors to suicide

Hayley Harnicher

Hayley Harnicher

Hayley Harnicher

Hayley Harnicher is the Program Manager for Send Silence Packing®, Active Minds’ traveling suicide prevention exhibit that aims to end the silence that surrounds mental health and suicide and connects visitors with resources for support and action. These exhibits have reached over a million individuals, and under Hayley’s leadership, has nearly doubled its impact and reach in-person, while also becoming more accessible through its new virtual experience Send Silence Packing: Beyond the Backpacks. Before taking on this role, she has served Active Minds in a variety of roles over the past 8.5 years including a chapter leader, Student Advisory Committee member, intern, Send Silence Packing Tour Coordinator, and Program Coordinator. Hayley graduated with her BA in Psychology from the University of Rochester, and has a passion for program development, efficiency, sustainability, and growth.

Benjamin Heim

Men

Benjamin Heim

Benjamin Heim

Benjamin Heim

Ben is a junior at Lenox Memorial High School who is interested in public health approaches to mental health. After discovering the prevalence of mental health issues, specifically among students, he sought out Active Minds and founded a chapter at his school. Ben is an advocate for education to understand the power of one’s words and seeks to aid others in finding the resources they need to receive help.

Laura Horne

Parents

Laura Horne

Laura Horne

Laura Horne

Laura develops innovative strategies and unique partnerships to empower students to help schools and society embrace a comprehensive, public health approach to mental health. Prior to Active Minds, Laura led public health initiatives at the National Association of County and City Health Officials and Tulane University. Laura earned her Master of Public Health degree in community health sciences from Tulane University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Loyola University New Orleans. She enjoys running, reading, finding adventure with her husband and three girls, and following the Washington Nationals and New Orleans Saints. Laura works from Philadelphia.

Twitter: @LauraHorneAM

Andre G Howell

Black/African American and Latino

Andre G Howell

Andre G Howell

Andre G Howell

As Vice President of Operations for The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), Andre Howell is responsible for managing the association’s day-to-day operations, ensuring the development and delivery of Cultural Intelligence solutions, and growing its membership base and network. Andre is an enthusiastic motivator of young people and believes in the mantra, “You never stop learning, and in order to learn, you must be an active listener”

 

LinkedIn: Andre Howell

Meg Hutchinson

Young artists and frontline workers

Meg Hutchinson

Meg Hutchinson

Meg Hutchinson

Meg Hutchinson is a Boston-based recording artist and palliative care hospital chaplain.  She has been recognized by Johns Hopkins and NAMI for a decade of service to mental health advocacy as a national speaker, filmmaker, musician, and educator. At age nineteen she began struggling with the deep depressions that accompanied the onset of Bipolar I Disorder. Meg tells her story of healing, and shares what she’s learned working in a large Boston hospital through the pandemic.

Facebook: Meg Hutchinson

Jim Johnson

High school and college students

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson

Together with his wife Sue Johnson, and their daughters Katie and Lauren, Jim and his family founded the non-profit foundation KyleCares to honor the memory of their son and brother Kyle, who died by suicide in 2018 as a 19-year old college student. Dedicated to promoting open and honest communication about mental health challenges faced by teens and young adults, KyleCares connects schools with mental health resources, facilitates long-term mental health strategy development, and funds mental health workshops, training, and stigma-breaking programs for New England high schools and colleges to better support their students, faculty, and parents. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College, and resides with his family in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Abby Kinch

Military Veterans

Abby Kinch

Abby Kinch

Abby Kinch

As the Vice President of Programs and Services at Student Veterans of America, Dr. Abby Kinch is responsible for the creation, implementation, and success of the myriad functions designed to empower veterans in higher education. Dr. Kinch has participated in SVA as a chapter member and chapter president at Florida State University, an SVA student council member, and an adviser. She has represented SVA in an advisory role to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Education. In Florida, she participated in the push for legislation to provide in-state tuition to veterans and gap fund payments to veterans with financial need during semester breaks.

Twitter: @AbbyKinch

Kristen Lee, EdD, LICSW

Educators and clinicians serving BIPOC and underrepresented groups

Kristen Lee, EdD, LICSW

Kristen Lee, EdD, LICSW

Kristen Lee, EdD, LICSW

Dr. Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, known as “Dr. Kris”, is an internationally recognized, award-winning behavioral science professor, clinician, author 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. She operates a consulting practice devoted to preventing and treating burnout and is the author of RESET: Make the Most of Your Stress, Winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Motivational Book of 2015, and best-selling Mentalligence: A New Psychology of Thinking: Learn What it Takes to Be More Agile, Mindful and Connected in Today’s World. She is a regular contributor for Thrive Global and Psychology Today and her works has been featured on NPR, Ted and CBS radio. She is the host of Crackin’ Up: Where Therapy Meets Comedy.

 

Instagram: @TheRealDrKris

Marcia Liu, PhD

Asian American/Pacific Islander college students and families

Marcia Liu, PhD

Marcia Liu, PhD

Marcia Liu, PhD

Marcia Liu received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her MA from NYU, and her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. Currently, Dr. Liu works as the Mental Health Coordinator for a federally funded grant program at Hunter College called HCAP, focusing on the needs of Asian American/Pacific Islander students. She also has a private practice where she does individual psychotherapy with BIPOC, queer people, and/or trauma survivors.

Kathleen Mackenzie, EdD, LICSW, CMHIMP

Kathleen Mackenzie, EdD, LICSW, CMHIMP

Kathleen Mackenzie, EdD, LICSW, CMHIMP

Kathleen Mackenzie, EdD, LICSW, CMHIMP

Dr. Mackenzie is an award-winning clinical social worker and educator for over 25 years  in a variety of settings including outpatient mental health, psychiatric inpatient, K-12 urban public schools, and higher education. Dr. Mackenzie’s knowledge about behavioral health and wellness has led her to be invited to speak at numerous educational and medical institutions.  She is a recognized leader in trauma-informed, equitable educational practices and integrative health care.

 

www.kathleen-mackenzie.com

Kelly Madden

Youth and Gen-Z

Kelly Madden

Kelly Madden

Kelly Madden

Currently, through her work as a Programs Fellow at Active Minds, Kelly supports more than 620 student-led chapters and over 15,000 student leaders as they develop mental health programming, facilitate suicide prevention programs and lead campus-wide advocacy campaigns to change the conversation about mental health. Kelly received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with concentrations in Counseling and Sociology in May of 2020 from Ithaca College. And she will attend graduate school next Fall to obtain a Master’s Degree in Social Work.

Kelly Maguire

Adolescents and young adults in the psychiatric hospital system

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

Kelly is a student at Florida Gulf Coast University with a major in Psychology. She is involved in Active Minds because, through overcoming her own struggles with mental illness, she has found that advocating and educating others about mental health has become her greatest passion. Active Minds gave her the strength and courage to reach out and ask for help. Just one week following the 2019 National Conference, she was inspired to prioritize her own mental health and took a leave of absence from school to attend a residential treatment center. Now, more than ever before, she is driven to help others who may also be going through similar struggles.

Da'Trevion (Tre) Moss

Teens and young adults

Da'Trevion (Tre) Moss

Da'Trevion (Tre) Moss

Da'Trevion (Tre) Moss

My name is Tre Moss, senior at the University of Dubuque with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. I will be attending St. Ambrose University in the fall of 2021, with a plan to obtain my master’s degree in Social Work and become a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. I thrive on meeting new people daily and inspiring others to want to improve themselves. I enjoy playing volleyball, journaling, and going on walks.

 

Instagram: @tre_speaks 

Twitter: @Tremoss3

Matthew McEvoy

Students

Matthew McEvoy

Matthew McEvoy

Matthew McEvoy

Matthew is the Senior Vice President at Togetherall – a 24/7 clinically moderated digital peer-to-peer support service. In this role, Matthew leads all aspects of Togetherall’s strategy, operation and expansion across North America. Matthew has spent his career in digital and remote based mental health care.  Prior to Togetherall, Matthew spent 13 years with a global mental health service provider, focused on building various digital mental health programs in higher education and both the public and private workplace settings. Matthew is a frequent speaker at national and international mental health conferences and sits on the Technical Committee responsible for drafting Canada’s National Post-secondary Student Mental Health standard in conjunction with the Mental Health Commission of Canada that was released in June of 2020. Matthew holds degrees in Commerce and Psychology from Queen’s University.

 

Twitter: @TogetherallNA

Sarah McMullen

Youth and young adults

Sarah McMullen

Sarah McMullen

Sarah McMullen

Sarah works with employers to provide consultation and strategy on disability inclusion, workplace wellness, talent attraction, and employee retention. Her expertise lies in creating an inclusive candidate experience, culture and understanding the impacts of stigmas and unconscious bias. She attributes her passion for education and advocacy on this topic to her professional experiences in the non-profit space and personal perspectives as an Asian American woman, new mom, and caregiver.

 

LinkedIn: Sarah McMullen

Danny Miller

Fraternity men

Danny Miller

Danny Miller

Danny Miller

Danny Miller is a higher education professional that has spent the last nine years advancing the mental health conversation within Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. Within his role, Danny connects the undergraduate men to important resources and maintains the partnership with Active Minds. Danny earned his B.A. at the University of Florida and his M.A. in Higher Education at Bowling Green State University.

 

Instagram: @alphasigs

Patrick Mulvaney

In hospitality we take care of others. Let’s use that gift on ourselves.

Patrick Mulvaney

Patrick Mulvaney

Patrick Mulvaney

Patrick Mulvaney is a proud Sacramentan whose cooking career has spanned five time zones. In 2001 he began Culinary Specialists, opening Mulvaney’s B&L in 2006. The Restaurant received l’Assiette Michelin in the first ever California Michelin Guide. In 2018 a project near to his heart arose after losing too many comrades to death by suicide in the restaurant industry.  The I Got Your Back project is a peer referral and online resource which seeks to reduce stigma and increase conversation about mental health in the hospitality world. When the Pandemic hit the B&L began cooking for hungry students and families. To date, they have delivered 200,000 meals to schoolchildren and over 600,000 meals for seniors.

 

Twitter: @igybproject

Instagram: @igybproject 

Kelsey Pacetti

Young adults

Kelsey Pacetti

Kelsey Pacetti

Kelsey Pacetti

Kelsey is a fourth year student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater studying Social Work, Special Education, and Theatre Arts with dreams of becoming a LCSW within the mental health field. As President of her Active Minds chapter and as a member on the SAC Kelsey has been fiercely dedicated to ending the stigma, having tough conversations, creating lasting change, and making sure young adults have and know the resources available to them. When Kelsey is not working on Active Minds she is working as the Project Coordinator for The Bandana Project and as a Regional Director for The Yellow Tulip Project. In her free-time she loves drinking coffee, cuddling her cats, and being with her girlfriend.

 

Instagram: @kelsey.pacetti

Akilah Patterson

College students

Akilah Patterson

Akilah Patterson

Akilah Patterson

Akilah is a Study Coordinator for the Healthy Minds Study at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. Prior to pursuing her graduate studies, Akilah worked extensively in various student affairs roles guided by her passion for improving the health and well-being of college students.  Her previous experiences working in student affairs led to her passion for contributing to public health research to better understand and address the health concerns that impact college students across the United States.

Sarah Pennington

Demystifying lesser known conditions (such as BFRBs)

Sarah Pennington

Sarah Pennington

Sarah Pennington

Sarah is a junior at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). She is pursuing a BFA in Film & TV with a minor in Business Management and Entrepreneurship with the hopes of becoming a film director/editor. In addition to her academic endeavors, Sarah is a passionate advocate on behalf of mental health and invisible disabilities and enjoys sharing her story of courage and self-love with the hope of inspiring others. Sarah loves to travel with her service dog, Daisy, across the United States and Canada as she speaks to groups of all ages and sizes.

Instagram: @sarah_m_penn

Gil Perez, MS, LPCC, NCC

LGBTQ+

Gil Perez, MS, LPCC, NCC

Gil Perez, MS, LPCC, NCC

Gil Perez, MS, LPCC, NCC

Gil Perez is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. He serves as a Personal Counselor at College of San Mateo, a community college located in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. He is the Active Minds Chapter Advisor at CSM and coordinates the Mental Health Peer Educator Program that comprises of student leaders who act as club officers for Active Minds and create a positive mental health culture on their campus. He is very passionate about serving community college students and helping them see the gifts and strengths in their inherent, authentic selves.

Stacy Pershall

Queer people with BPD

Stacy Pershall

Stacy Pershall

Stacy Pershall

Stacy Pershall is a writer and memoir teacher at Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City. She is the author of the memoir Loud in the House of Myself (W.W. Norton, 2012) and is currently finishing her second book, a young-adult novel.

Stephen Popp

Students, teachers, administrators, and parents

Stephen Popp

Stephen Popp

Stephen Popp

With over two decades of experience as an educator, Stephen Popp currently serves as the Assistant Head of School and Head of Upper School at The John Cooper School in The Woodlands, Texas. Mr. Popp earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Baylor University, and earned a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Houston as a James Madison Fellow. Mr. Popp also earned a Master of Education degree in Independent School Leadership from Columbia University. He is currently completing his Doctorate in Education in Leadership, Learning, and Organizations at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University (Summer 2021). His capstone centers on creating a conversation about mental health and well-being in Independent Schools.

Rushika Prasad

High school students

Rushika Prasad

Rushika Prasad

Rushika Prasad

Rushika is a student at John Cooper High School who is passionate about the mental health of high school students, an increasingly relevant topic. In high school and beyond, Rushika is ready to join the fight to eliminate stigma and create a world where mental health care is available and accessible to those in need.

 

LinkedIn: Rushika Prasad

David P. Rivera, PhD

BIPOC communities

David P. Rivera, PhD

David P. Rivera, PhD

David P. Rivera, PhD

David P. Rivera, PhD, is an associate professor of counselor education at Queens College-City University of New York and a National Adviser to The Steve Fund. His experience includes college counseling, higher education administration, and consultations and training on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. His research is guided by critical theories and social justice frameworks, and explores cultural competency development and issues impacting the marginalization and wellbeing of people of color and oppressed sexual orientation and gender identity groups, with a focus on microaggressions. His work has been recognized by the American Psychological Association, American College Counseling Association, and American College Personnel Association.

Kai Roberts

BIPOC

Kai Roberts

Kai Roberts

Kai Roberts

Kai Roberts is a producer, artist, and mental health speaker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Serving on the Active Minds Speaker Bureau, Kai has presented across the nation and has gained national recognition for his unique approach to promoting mental health awareness through music.

Instagram: @kairobertsmusic

Twitter: @kairobertsmusic

Xavier Romano

Latino men and particularly the collegiate sector

Xavier Romano

Xavier Romano

Xavier Romano

With 30+ years of work in higher education & 20 of those serving as a senior student services officer (SSAO), Xavier brings a unique skill set to the Nation’s largest Latino-based fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta.

Monika Roots, MD

Monika Roots, MD

Monika Roots, MD

Monika Roots, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Sanvello

Dr. Roots practiced as a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. She was also a Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison and was most recently the Vice President of Health Services and Behavioral Health for Teladoc Health. In 2016, Teladoc Health acquired her business, CogCubed, a behavioral health analytics company. Dr. Roots earned her MD from University of Sint Eustatius School of Medicine and completed psychiatry residency and fellowship in child/adolescent psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.

 Maribeth Savoie

Workplaces

Maribeth Savoie

 Maribeth Savoie

Maribeth Savoie

Maribeth’s work focuses on promoting comprehensive, interactive, and inspirational speaking events with schools and professional groups that focus on mental health education and personal stories. She enjoys working with clients and speakers to help create tailored event experiences through a health promotion lens. Maribeth studied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Maryland for her undergraduate career. She has a graduate certificate in Business Marketing from Liberty University and is currently completing two Master of Science degrees in Health Promotion and Nutrition at the Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Abraham Sculley

BIPOC Christians

Abraham Sculley

Abraham Sculley

Abraham Sculley

Abraham Sculley is a husband, author, coach, fitness trainer, and professional speaker with Active Minds. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of West Florida in 2019 and currently lives in Pensacola, FL with his wife Fani Sculley and dog Gypsy. During his freshman year, he was diagnosed with clinical depression, and from this experience, he committed to doing the work necessary to overcome depression. Today, Abraham speaks from his unique perspective as a young, black, Christian man and teaches others how to achieve optimal mental, physical, and spiritual health.

Erin Simon

LGBTQ+ teens

Erin Simon

Erin Simon

Erin Simon

Erin is a freelance project manager with a love of all things events, logistics, and travel. Her most recent roles outside of touring with Active Minds include leading student travel programs for Rustic Pathways, serving as a brand ambassador for Truth Orange, and managing administrative operations for wellness education platform SHE.

Elaina Suarez

Men

Elaina Suarez

Elaina Suarez

Elaina Suarez

Being in love with mental health, Elaina joined Active Minds, in 2017, and became the Volunteer Coordinator of her chapter at UTSA. Intrigued with helping others and making others recognize the world needs them here, she used her mental health journey as a way to serve as inspiration to students alike. From listening to student’s wants and needs, she further developed her passion for mental health awareness. In 2019, Elaina became the President of her chapter, and created two series featuring counseling about concerns students had about Covid-19. Elaina was motivated to continue her mental health education career and went on to become the Alumni Engagement Intern at National Active Minds, where she attempted to determine how much of Active Minds messages impacted former undergraduate students. She hopes to continue her mental health work by going to the University of Texas at Austin and become a Clinical Social Worker to travel to schools and workplaces to provide mental health education and suicide training to reduce the stigma of mental health.

Instagram: @elaina_kylie

Robyn Suchy

First-generation college students

Robyn Suchy

Robyn Suchy

Robyn Suchy

Robyn is the Chapter Manager at Active Minds, where he works with over 500 student-led chapters on programming, leadership development, advocacy, and education.

 

Twitter: @robynsuchy3

Beto Valenzuela

Young men

Beto Valenzuela

Beto Valenzuela

Beto Valenzuela

Beto is a passionate mental health advocate that looks to challenge mental health stigma in unique ways. He has been part of Active Minds for three years and currently serves as the Vice President in his high school chapter. He is the founder of Spark Apparel, a non-profit clothing brand dedicated to inspiring positive mental health conversations.

 

Instagram: @betovalenzuelav

Kimberlee Vandervoorn

Hospitality industry workers

Kimberlee Vandervoorn

Kimberlee Vandervoorn

Kimberlee Vandervoorn

Kimberlee Vandervoorn, Vice President of Consumer Solutions with UnitedHealth Group/Optum, has developed and managed UnitedHealth Group’s joint venture partnership with the National Restaurant Association since its inception in 2010. During her tenure with UnitedHealth Group she has worked with multiple industries to develop health and wellness solutions that meet their unique needs and help them navigate the complex health care system. Ms. Vandervoorn is particularly passionate about mental health and providing mental health, substance use disorder and suicide prevention resources to the hospitality industry.  Ms. Vandervoorn sits on multiple association boards and councils to better advocate for and understand the challenges faced by the hospitality industry. She holds a BA degree from Connecticut College, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt from Villanova University and Juris Doctorate from Catholic University of America.

Cameron Vigil

Young people

Cameron Vigil

Cameron Vigil

Cameron Vigil

As the Engagement Manager, Cameron is responsible for implementing YI’s consumer education and engagement work in Colorado. Cameron is a graduate of the University of Colorado Denver and obtained her Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Cameron stays engaged with her hometown, Pueblo, CO, by co-creating the Leticia “Weda” Salinas Scholarship, which aims to help students afford higher education and reduce mental health stigma within the Pueblo youth community. Cameron currently serves as the Co-Chairman in the Executive Committee for the Colorado State Youth Council and is a member of Mental Health America’s Young Mental Health Leaders Council.

 

LinkedIn: Cameron Vigil

Greg Vogt

Fraternity and sorority students on college campuses

Greg Vogt

Greg Vogt

Greg Vogt

Greg Vogt is a Professional Mental Health Speaker with Active Minds. He is also the author of “The Battle Against Yourself,” and a Board Member for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance- CA. Greg aims to inspire others to prioritize mental health by using his passions of writing and speaking, paired with his personal story of recovery over battling depression, suicidal ideation, and a yearlong stay at a treatment center.

 

Instagram: @greg_vogt8

Twitter: @greg_vogt8

Frank Warren

Young people

Frank Warren

Frank Warren

Frank Warren

“Most Trusted Stranger in America”

 

Instagram: @PostSecret

Facebook: @PostSecret

Twitter: @PostSecret

Ivy Watts

Athletics and communities of color

Ivy Watts

Ivy Watts

Ivy Watts

Ivy Watts, a former Division II All-American track athlete, who appeared to have it all together struggled daily with her mental health, in silence. After finally seeking help, Ivy is now dedicated to promoting mental wellness and reducing mental health stigma by sharing her story through public speaking and her blog, Beautifully Simply You. Ivy, who is Certified in Mental Health First Aid and has her Masters in Public Health, empowers others to speak their truths, know that they are not alone, learn the beauty of self-love and find the strength to keep fighting for their tomorrows.

 

Instagram: @ivywattsspeaks 

Facebook: @ivywattsspeaks 

Twitter: @ivywattsspeaks 

David Wohlreich

Young men

David Wohlreich

David Wohlreich

David Wohlreich

David Wohlreich leads the total rewards and HR operations organization at Niantic, where his team is responsible for all “crunchy” elements of the people function – compensation, benefits, HR information systems, compliance, and reporting. Before Niantic, David led compensation at Riot Games, worked across industries and across the country in compensation and finance for Chubb and Bosch, and graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business after a decade in the hospitality industry. David’s passion for mental health may be genetic; both of his parents are psychiatrists.

 

LinkedIn: David Wohlreich

Michael Zibilich

High school and college students

Michael Zibilich

Michael Zibilich

Michael Zibilich

Over the last seven 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.