This Sunday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, an international day marking the importance of mental health awareness, advocacy and education. It’s an important reminder in the best of times, but in this moment it feels especially vital to recognize the importance of mental health, for ourselves, our families, and our peers.
To highlight the coming day, we’ve rounded up a few of our many great speakers on mental health below. Sharing their personal journeys and expertise, they help to break the stigma surrounding mental health and provide useful, everyday tools anyone can use.
If you’re interested in booking one of the speakers below, or any of our other incredibly talented speakers, please contact us.
Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe
Expert on Resiliency and Workplace Wellness
Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe is a multi-award-winning psychology and education instructor who specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, and personal wellness in the workplace. Described as transformational, engaging, and thought-provoking, Hanley-Dafoe’s keynotes provide practical strategies, grounded in global research and case studies, that help foster resiliency within ourselves and others.
With stress, uncertainty, and unrest at a record high, Hanley-Dafoe’s message is both inspirational and practical. She introduces her “Five Pillars of Resiliency”, and shares strategies to help foster each pillar in ourselves and others based on research-informed best practices and real-world applications.
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author | Cofounder of The Buried Life Movement
As the #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? and star of MTV’s high rated The Buried Life, Ben Nemtin uses keynote presentations to help empower and motivate groups to make a difference and live courageously.
Nemtin is also a mental health advocate who believes that all humans have ups and downs. He believes the stigma around mental illness can be broken through open, honest conversations. However, the onus is not on the one in five who struggle with mental health to break the stigma. The responsibility falls on all of us.
Mental Health Advocate and Strategist | Top 50 TEDx Speaker
With over six million views, Mark Henick’s TEDx talk, “Why We Choose Suicide,” is among the most watched in the world. His story of searching for “the man in the light brown jacket” who saved his life from a teenage suicide attempt captured global attention. Henick has dedicated his life from an early age to opening minds and creating change. His talks are informed by his direct experience with stigma and the mental health care system, and he brings his diverse and unique perspective to every audience as someone who has been a patient, a professional, a policy influencer, and a public figure in the mental health system.
Henick shares insight and practical strategies to help prioritize and look after your mental health in these exceptional circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In his virtual presentations, Henick creates an open dialogue on managing mental well-being and self-care during this difficult time, and helps audiences to learn how to prioritize their mental health.
Happiness Expert | Bestselling Author of The Book of Awesome
A Harvard MBA, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning blogger, and one of the most popular TED speakers in the world, Neil Pasricha is “a pied piper of happiness” who dazzles audiences with ideas that skyrocket happiness into the stratosphere. With infectious enthusiasm, heartfelt authenticity, and a “what works” authority, Pasricha draws on the latest research in happiness to increase individual performance and create a more positive and productive workplace.
In an all-new virtual keynote, Pasricha responds to the spiking anxiety, stress, and mental health challenges we’re all facing today in our new normal. He will share three research-based practices to ground and centre yourself on a daily basis, as well as key phrases to use when speaking to yourself and loved ones during the pandemic.
Dr. Shimi Kang
Award-Winning Harvard-Trained Physician | Bestselling Author
An award-winning medical doctor, researcher, and expert on the neuroscience of innovation, leadership, and motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang provides science-based solutions for health, happiness, and achievement in the workplace, classroom, and at home. With 20 years of clinical experience and extensive research in the science that lies behind optimizing human intelligence, Kang provides practical tools to cultivate the key 21st century skills of resilience, connection, creativity, and more.
In these difficult times, it’s also important to build a deeper understanding of the human mind, wellness, and mental health. Kang takes audiences on a fascinating journey through the latest neuroscience, medical research, and practical tools to help leaders, teams, and organizations achieve better wellness, motivation, adaptability, and innovation to best meet the demands of the weeks and months to come.
JUNO Award-Winning Musician | Mental Health Advocate
For Serena Ryder, music is medicine. Her raw and earnest songwriting, and beautifully electric live performances, have made her a favourite amongst fans, peers, and critics alike. The award-winning singer-songwriter also received the Margaret Trudeau Mental Health Advocacy Award, and she has been the face of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign for several years.
On the outside, Ryder was a rising international star. But, on the inside, she was battling a deep depression that triggered an identity crisis and onstage panic attacks. In her powerful presentations, she shares the difficult path she took to regain her health, and how, through it, she rediscovered her voice both as a performer and an advocate for those struggling with mental illness.
Six-Time Olympic Medalist | Mental Health Advocate
After spending half her life striving to be the fastest person in the world, six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes decided to switch gears and “slow down to the pace of a human being.” This led her to hike over 16,000 km, where she discovered the healing power of movement. In her candid, personal talks, Hughes explores how movement can change lives, and draws from her experience living with depression to inspire audiences to face their fears, find their voice, and become the champions they’re meant to be.
After more than a decade in the grueling world of professional sports that stripped away her confidence and bruised her body, Hughes began to realize that her physical extremes, her emotional setbacks, and her partying habits were masking a severe depression. After winning bronze in the last speed skating race of her career, she decided to retire from that sport, determined to repair herself. She has since emerged as one of our most committed humanitarians, advocating for a variety of social causes both in Canada and around the world.
Dr. Greg Wells
Health and Performance Expert | Physiologist | Bestselling Author
Dr. Greg Wells is a health and high-performance expert who, as a scientist and physiologist, has dedicated his career to making the science of human limits understandable and actionable. In his informative and engaging keynotes, Wells draws parallels between elite athletes and top executives to help business leaders perform at the highest level, even when under the most extreme circumstances.
Wells latest work has a simple message: slow down to speed up. Conventional wisdom has always said that achieving more means pushing harder. It’s not true. Our brains aren’t built to be in a constant “go mode”. Of course, there are times when driving hard is key, but those moments can’t happen without rest and relaxation. Knowing how to step back enables us to achieve peak performance when a big moment comes along. Wells’ provides a framework to empower audiences to be intentional about giving our brains what they need for recovery, learning, strategic thinking, focused execution, creativity, and peak performance.