Active Minds Speaker
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.
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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 the 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 principle 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, the oldest of whom had a heart transplant at the age of 3. She is a passionate advocate for organ donation, parent-doctor relationships, and congenital heart disease research, and has navigated motherhood against some remarkable odds. She is an active blogger, an avid student and teacher of yoga and pilates, 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. Colleen’s presence is appreciated as a loving member at South End United Methodist Church and a parent at High Hopes Inclusive Preschool and Therapy Center.
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.
- Eating Disorders
- Faculty/Staff Trainings
- Greek Life
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- 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.
Colleen travels from Tennessee
“Colleen connected well with our attendees and shared a compelling, heartfelt story that moved the attendees to action.”
Training and Development Manager
Alpha Gamma Delta
Active Minds Blog - Colleen Coffey
“Love isn’t just about romance; we can choose to find love in a lot of things. Perhaps you choose to celebrate a friend or a pet or express your belief in something important on this day instead of feeling like you need a date. Secondly, YOU are enough. Just you- wonderful you- may be the perfect date for this day. What brings you joy? Reading? Netflix? Pedicures? Cooking? Running? Take time this day to do those things and celebrate yourself. Finally, recognize there is a need. There are plenty of ways to serve others this day- nursing home visits, food pantry serving, daycare help.”
“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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