Ivy Watts

Active Minds Speaker

ivy watts headshot close up

Ivy Watts is a professional mental health speaker from Active Minds. Her story gives hope a voice.


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About Ivy

Growing up in a Black family, Ivy was raised to feel the stigma surrounding seeking mental health support, and because of this, never thought that she could be someone who struggled with her own mental health. However, that struggle had been occurring her entire life, apparent early on through physical warning signs such as stomach aches, headaches, and trembling. Ivy’s struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, lack of self-esteem, lack of self-worth, and depression only grew throughout middle school, high school, and college. As an All-American track and field athlete and a top 30 finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, she was able to hide her mental health struggle behind the perfect persona she had created for herself, as she was too ashamed to speak up, due to the stigma she had grown up believing. 


It wasn’t until years after college that Ivy had a conversation with a friend that changed her life and finally got her the help she needed through therapy. This friend was open about their own struggle and about the benefits of therapy, and this conversation finally began to break down the stigma that only led Ivy to struggle in silence for years. 

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This major life change pushed Ivy to want to make a difference in empowering others to see the strength in speaking up and seeking help, as well as pushed her to understand how being relatable about our mental health can help break the stigma. Ivy began blogging about her own mental health journey and sharing tools for positivity, self-love and self-care through her blog, Beautifully Simply You. She also began her own speaking business, Ivy Watts Speaks, where 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. 


As a Black female who experienced immense pressure from juggling sports, school and personal life, Ivy’s talks are engaging, interactive and relatable. Ivy continues to be open about her current mental health struggle including caregiver stress, grief, and loss to demonstrate to attendees that although healing is not linear, we have the tools within us and around us to get through difficult times. Ivy has recently become a mom to her daughter, Charlotte, and has also experienced the mental health challenges of becoming a new mom. From her continuous struggle with postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression, Ivy hopes to rewrite the narrative about motherhood to demonstrate that there is no shame in struggling, and it doesn’t make anyone a bad mom or parent if they are not “enjoying every moment”. 


Ivy hopes to normalize the challenges that mothers face and empower mothers to find time throughout their day to put themselves first, so that they can be their best selves for their children. Attendees will leave feeling empowered to seek help, know that they are not alone and will also learn tangible tools for self-care and mental wellness for all stages of their lives. 


Ivy has her degree in psychology from University of New Haven and her Masters in Public Health from Boston University. Ivy is certified in Mental Health First Aid and QPR Training. Ivy also has received the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Wellness Partner of the Year Award in 2021.

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Booking information

Key topics

  • Anxiety
  • Athletes
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Faculty/Staff Training
  • Life Transitions
  • People of Color & Mental Health
  • Self-Care/Recovery
  • Trauma


Ivy's Presentation Options

Learn about Ivy’s story of her struggle with her mental health as an athlete (anxiety, depression), her fear of speaking up, but how speaking up saved her life.

Ivy will discuss:

  • How to change your mindset from seeking help as a sign of weakness, to seeking help as a sign of strength
  • Identifying importance and beauty of finding self-worth and self-love and recognition that recovery is possible
  • Learning self-care and mental wellness tools to build strength and resiliency
  • Understanding the importance of practicing mental wellness in difficult times such as COVID-19 and racial injustice
  • Understanding that it is okay to not be okay
  • Feeling empowered to be part of the solution to change mental health culture
  • Understanding the vast resources available in the school system, locally and online

Learn about Ivy’s story of her struggle with her mental health as an athlete (anxiety, depression), her fear of speaking up due to the stigma around mental health, but how speaking up saved her life.

Ivy will discuss:

  • Feeling empowered as an administrator, coach or parent to support the mental health of their students and themselves both virtually and in person
  • Feeling empowered to recognize the warning signs of mental health problems
  • Feeling empowered to know how to have conversations on mental health and advocate for changes within the school and the community
  • Understanding the importance of practicing mental wellness for themselves in order to help others
  • Understanding the vast resources available in the school system, locally and online

Learn about Ivy’s story of her struggle with her mental health as an athlete (anxiety, depression), her fear of speaking up due to the stigma around mental health, but how speaking up saved her life.

Ivy will discuss:

  • Feeling empowered to know that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness
  • Learning hands on tools for self-care and mental wellness in the workplace, including staying motivated, working through challenges, building confidence and identifying strengths for success
  • Learning tools for self care and how to work through anxiety, self-doubt and stress during tough times and beyond
  • Learning the power of positivity and self-love
  • Learning how to be a source of positivity and hope for others who may be struggling, just by being there
  • Learning resources available both online and in the workplace


Travel Information

Ivy travels from Boston.


View Testimonials

“Your presentation was absolutely perfect. I was able to easily relate as a person diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but I believe you covered some topics all high school students can relate to. You helped me to better understand and accept my anxiety as just a part of me, just as much as my determination and kindness are a part of me. Your presentation inspired me to start to get my life together, and to start to learn to love me again. Standing up that day and coming up to you after the presentation was the start of me taking back control of my mind.”

– Student, Sacred Heart Academy

“You gave me the strength to schedule an appointment with a counselor on campus to help with the negativity and stress that I’ve been dealing with for so long. I finally feel empowered to make a change in my life after being in the dark for so long. I think everyone in the room took something out of your story.”

– Student-Athlete, Bentley University

“Ivy’s infectious spirit was engaging and motivational. Her presentation made me feel empowered and reassured to take on future work stresses.”

“Ivy’s presentation was truly eye-opening. Many of our athletes were struggling or have struggled with the same thing, making us feel like we are not alone. Ivy flawlessly intertwined her story with strategic and healthy ways to cope with what she continues to go through. It has inspired me to be committed to creating a more open environment among student-athletes pertaining to mental health and breaking the stigma.”

Kelli McCarthy, Salem State Student-Athlete

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