Colleen Coffey

Active Minds Speaker


Colleen Coffey is a professional mental health speaker from Active Minds. Her story gives hope a voice.

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About Colleen

Colleen Coffey has a family history of mental health issues and was diagnosed on and off with multiple disorders 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 distraction, panic attacks, extreme stress, and feelings of emptiness. While in graduate school, she found proper treatment for the first time in her life and began to understand the power of healthy coping, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. Colleen has continued to seek help, and her mental health journey has evolved over the last two decades as she has navigated various life stages. She now sits in a place of advocacy, learning, and action for her own children, all of whom have had their own challenges with emotional health and learning differences. Throughout each walk of life, she has remained healthy, flexible, and present, and she brings this hope to her audiences with every program. Colleen has become a widely-sought speaker and consultant devoted to showing audiences that mental health disorders are treatable, accommodations are important, and everyone holds the power to transform communities.

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Colleen Coffey, EdD is a seasoned speaker and mental health advocate. For over a decade, she has been speaking life into audiences and organizations across the country. Since 2007, Colleen has worked with the renowned programming company, Phired Up Productions, as a Senior Strategist with a special interest in organizational recruitment, retention, and relationship focused training. Colleen was instrumental in the creation and training of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau, serving as a leader in the Active Minds/National Mental Health Awareness Campaign bureau merger. Colleen has a degree in Social Work from Belmont University, a Masters Degree in Student Affairs from Eastern Illinois University, and a Doctorate in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.


She has served as principal investigator on over 10 research projects including a large project evaluating the impact of mental health programming on college students. She has also studied retention and exit voice loyalty among fraternity and sorority members and has special interests in program evaluation, qualitative research, fraternity and sorority recruitment and retention practices, and member/employee efficacy.


Colleen is a published author and served as a volunteer advisor to fraternity and sorority chapters for eight years. Colleen is the mother of three young children, all with learning differences,some with mental health diagnoses and even one who had a heart transplant at the age of 3. She is a passionate advocate for organ donation, parent-doctor relationships, neurodiversity, and congenital heart disease research.


Colleen has navigated motherhood against some remarkable odds. She is an active blogger, an avid student and teacher of yoga, a dater of her husband whom she has loved for over half her life, and mentor to a variety of young professionals in many different fields. Dr. Coffey challenges her audiences and clients to make a difference, with genuine warmth and strong regard for each and every person listening to her. Her presence on stage and in any organization is contagious, welcoming, and impactful and, in some instances, has proven to be life-saving.

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Booking information

Key topics

  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Neurodiversity
  • Parenting and Mental Health
  • Pregnancy Mental Health
  • Athletes
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Faculty/Staff Trainings
  • Greek Life
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Religion/Spirituality
  • Self-Care/Recovery
  • Stigma Reduction
  • Workplace Mental Health


Colleen's Presentation Options

Colleen Coffey shares her story with audiences across the country, relating her earliest memories of anxiety at the age of three, through her teens, and into adulthood.

In this powerful program, Colleen Coffey shares her experience of surviving with mental illness as a platform to discuss what it means to live a complete and authentic life. This program teaches audiences about knowing yourself, loving others, and realizing that YOU are ENOUGH. Colleen shares powerful and specific tools for mindfulness, self-affirmation, listening openly, and loving oneself and others without judgment. This is a tremendous program for faculty/staff, student groups, non-profit or corporate retreats and team-building exercises. Audiences will walk away feeling more whole and more connected to each other. This program requires 2-4 hours.

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 interactive program is geared specifically towards fraternity and sorority chapters. Colleen shares her story and provides chapter leaders with the tools they need to create a stigma-free environment in their chapters. Through a variety of mechanisms, Colleen will consult with students about how to be open, honest and respectful in relationships with each other and within their organization. Colleen “gets Greek” really well and connects the values of each organization to mental wellness in a way that students have called “relevant,” “thought provoking” and “inspiring.”

Colleen has passions and experiences far beyond the mental health platform. Ask about having her teach a Pilates class, facilitate a conversation on conflict resolution, speak as an advocate/ally for disenfranchised groups, or provide transformational information about organ donation to your students.

Colleen offers virtual versions of her presentations and workshops.

Learn about showing up for your friends, love ones, co-workers and/or students in their everyday struggles. The letters V-A-R correspond to three steps: Validate-Appreciate-Refer. The steps are easy-to-understand, easy-to-do, and easy-to-remember. They provide a guide for active listening and responding in a helpful way. A conversation can be life changing. For many people, feeling supported is just what they need.

Travel information

Colleen travels from Tennessee


View Testimonials

“Colleen connected well with our attendees and shared a compelling, heartfelt story that moved the attendees to action.”

Rick Burt
Training and Development Manager
Alpha Gamma Delta


“Most people who die by suicide don’t really want to die–they just don’t see another way out. I’m here to tell you that there is another way out. All that feelings do is change, but living and dying are both immutable states of being.

The way out is in.

The way out is about having the courage to tell someone you are not ok and to seek help at the first signs of feeling out of control. The way out is to learn how to cope with things that seem impossible and to continue to surround yourself with people that love you.”

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Colleen is such a lovely person who connected with individuals before, during, and after her presentation with such passion and professionalism.

Alyssa Snyder

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