National Mental Health Speaker to Headline Event for Value Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania

Mental health challenges and mental illness encompass a variety of issues. This includes emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Most people can control these, but many more cannot. This can be very frustrating for everyone involved.

Mike Veny is a man of many talents. As a corporate drumming facilitator, his drums transform dull and boring corporate events and retreats into something entertaining, a chance to bond and a chance to see real synergy evolve from a shared experience.

Veny, however, is much more than his drumming. He has something in common with one out of four people in the U.S.

“I struggle with mental health challenges on a daily basis,” said Veny.

Mental health challenges encompass a variety of issues. This includes emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Most people can control these, but many more cannot. This can be very frustrating for everyone involved.

Unlike a medical condition, mental health conditions are difficult to diagnose and treat. Pain in a wrist that lasts for more than a few days will certainly need medical attention, but for those who have chronic depression, it may not be as clear. Many simply accept their feelings as normal, and they never realize the underlying condition.

“I had more than my fair share of difficulties before I learned my underlying problem.” said Veny, “and once I was able to tackle my mental health challenges head on, I decided to give back and educate others on these issues.”

Veny is the founder of www.TransformingStigma.Com, and keynote speaker that shares his past and current struggles within the mental health community. His goal is to help as many people as possible feel a sense of a hope, offers practical bsteps that people can take to get help and educate families on the elements of their loved one's mental challenges.

Veny chose the word 'stigma' for his group because of the negative perceptions people have about mental challenges. The stereotypes labeled on those with mental challenges leads to avoidance, rejection and discrimination. When the challenges are turned inward, the challenges can quickly turn to statistics.

“Here is one frightening statistic of mental challenges: Seven people die by suicide per hour in North and South America,” said Veny, “and from 1999 through 2007, the suicide rate has increased from 10 percent to 11 percent per every 100,000 people. Although it’s statically small, it’s still an increase and clearly shows that this problem is getting worse.”

Veny's approach to educating the general populace on mental challenges starts with something that many have in common, shame.

“Stigma begins at shame, and once the shaming process has begun, there is a strong chance of destructive personal outcomes. Veny's friendly and personal approach helps attendees to reach loved ones without being too forward, "something that can quickly backfire on someone with mental challenges,” said Veny.

Veny says that "You need to take care of yourself to transform shame. You need to keep the subject of mental health in everyday conversation to transform the silence. You need to intentionally look for teachable moments to help others in order to transform self-destructive behavior and suicide."

“I believe have a tremendous opportunity to transform stigma if we choose to view mental health challenges are your unique genius in disguise. It’s all in how you choose to look at it,” said Veny.

Veny is available for speaking engagements. His next event is at Value Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania. The event entitled, Realizing Recovery: A Trail to Wellness, will be at the Pittsburg Marriot North on April 17th. Registration ends on April 10th, and participants are encouraged to register quickly as spaces are already filling up.

Learn more about Mike Veny and his journey here: www.Vimeo.Com/96260357


Mike Veny is not a mental health professional, nor is anyone else on the Transforming Stigma team. If you need medical help, please consult a doctor. If you're having an emergency, call 911.

Transforming Stigma