Active Minds Speaker
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.
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Today, Becky is the Director of Engagement and Training at Active Minds, and the Founding Director of the Powerful Voices Project, a documentary film series that tells stories of recovery and resilience after experiencing sexual assault. 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. She has been working in the field of student empowerment and mental health advocacy since 2012, and in the fields of public health and sexual assault survivor empowerment since 2009.
Notable accomplishments: In 2016, Becky was awarded the Red Cross Real Heroes Award, California Northwest and the Powerful Voices Project was featured on NBC News. Becky co-authored a publication released in the July 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry entitled “Strengthening College Students’ Mental Health Knowledge, Awareness, and Helping Behaviors: The Impact of Active Minds, a Peer Mental Health Organization.” Prior to Active Minds, Becky served as Adjunct Faculty in Health Sciences at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Fun fact: Becky produced, directed, and performed in The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler’s internationally renowned sexual assault and woman-empowerment episodic play, for five consecutive years: two years at Columbia University, and three years in Santa Rosa, CA.
- Faculty/Staff Trainings
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Sexual Assault
- Suicide Prevention
- Workplace Mental Health
Becky's Presentation Options
Becky discusses her journey of recovery and resilience after experiencing sexual assault. This lively and powerful talk explores 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.
View one of the Powerful Voices Project videos of your choice and discuss the creation of the video, the story portrayed, the behind the scenes of the making, and more.
Becky offers a presentation combining her story presentation, “Surviving & Thriving After Sexual Assault: Creating Strength Out of Trauma” with a Bystander Intervention Workshop, “Changing the Campus Culture: Three Techniques to Reduce Violence and Protect Your Friends.” This program will require at least 90 minutes.
Mental wellness is a key component to a healthy, sustainable, and productive workforce. Learn how to have safe and respectful conversations with your employees and cultivate a culture that supports employee mental health.
Learning objectives for workforces:
- Discuss how mental health and well-being of employees economically and culturally impact the workplace.
- Explore the makeup of the emerging generation of the workforce, demographics, key values (including mental health and wellbeing).
- Identify ways to promote a positive work environment that maximizes productivity, creativity, and loyalty to your company.
- Learn tangible steps towards supporting the wellbeing of your workforce (demonstrate your support of mental health, involve the stakeholders in uncovering solutions, etc.) and hiring and retaining employees with mental health challenges.
Changing the conversation about mental health starts with learning how to talk about it – both as it relates to our own personal journeys and the overarching climate surrounding mental health today. Words matter when building a mental health culture that is inclusive, responsive, and respectful. Effective discussions around mental health will invite people into the conversation and offer a relatable foundation for this critically important topic with the ultimate goal of encouraging people to seek the support that they need when they need it.
Becky offers virtual versions of her presentations and workshops.
Becky's Workshop Options
Bystander intervention is currently the only evidence-based technique that is proven to prevent sexual violence on campuses and in communities. This interactive and lively workshop will train participants to recognize signs of potentially harmful situations, and help to break down barriers to responding. Attendees will hear a personal story of sexual assault surviving and thriving, explore myths and misperceptions of sexual assault, and learn three tangible skills for how to intervene when faced with potentially harmful situations. This program is available as a 90-minute workshop or as a 30-45 minute supplement.
This 60 minute workshop offers students and faculty the opportunity to learn about and discuss how to start and grow an Active Minds chapter.
This two-hour workshop explores the prevalence and incidence of suicide, with a focus on college students. We discuss current, pressing issues that are related to suicide, and unpack myths and misperceptions. Participants leave with a comprehensive booklet from the QPR Institute, and three tangible skills that will help avert the tragedy of suicide.
In this 90 minute interactive workshop, Becky educates audiences on mental health issues, the importance of help-seeking, and effective strategies for engaging in preventative self-care and helping loved ones, friends, or peers in distress.
- Understand the meaning and usage of the V-A-R® tool
- Identify at least three “barriers” we may have in place that may impede our willingness to engage with someone about their struggles.
- Explore circumstances that may impact mental wellness among our peers, colleagues, students, employees, family, friends, etc.
- Engage with current trends in mental health, based on data
- Discuss the value and importance of self-care as a critical component of mental health
- Take-home resources explaining the V-A-R®
Becky travels from California
Active Minds Blog - Becky Fein
“On Tuesday, October 30th, Active Minds hosted an hour-long webinar exploring frameworks of mobilizing students around mental health and the research that supports our upstream approach to mental health advocacy. The esteemed panelists explored the data that is demonstrating that student-powered mental health advocacy is a promising approach to changing students’ attitudes, knowledge, and behavior around mental health as well as tangible examples of institutions’ work to center student voices through policy and on-the-ground efforts.”
“I used to force myself to take the sweater off. It would come off and immediately, I would feel the tension rise from my stomach all the way to my forehead. I would get a headache, my neck and jaw clenched. Sometimes I’d try to push through it, but that never worked.
I’ve learned to stop trying to force “healing” before I’m ready. I’ve learned that if a sweater (or any other comfort item for that matter) is all that I need to feel safe and enjoy my experience, it’s worth it, and it’s ok. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Now, I challenge myself to stretch my boundaries in service to my healing only in ways that feel fun and bold and brave. Not in ways that cause unease.”
“Wherever we are sheltering, no matter how physically distanced we are from the people we typically would be spending time with, we’re all in this together. Together, we’re going to get through it. Your experiences are uniquely challenging, and no matter what anyone else is experiencing, what you are going through matters. We are experiencing an unprecedented global challenge together. Now and always, it’s important to strive for patience and mutually supportive environments.”
“Several of the students expressed the real challenge to practice self-care and balance with an unknown future and so much that feels out of control. Working to prioritize mental health with pressures around accomplishment and achievement is a pronounced experience of these past few months, according to these young adults – they find themselves wondering if and how they can continue down the paths they’ve worked so hard to lay for their futures with the pandemic in their way. When they find themselves feeling overwhelmed by the sense of helplessness, they work on acceptance and focus on what they can control through this time of chaos.”
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