Mike Veny, weight lifter, professional musician, Ted Talk speaker, and mental health keynote speaker, has something to say about what it means to be a man with mental health issues.
Mike has made it his personal mission to not only talk about mental health issues and how they have affected his life but also to let his listeners know just how he overcame and continues to overcome these issues. He is a dedicated advocate for mental health awareness through traveling and speaking around the world.
In his early years, Veny was repeatedly expelled from school due to behavior problems and spent time in a psychiatric hospital on three different occasions. Veny admits that in his childhood the so-called real men he idolized were thugs, tough guys, and trouble makers, who in retrospect were more than likely suffering from mental health issues of their own. Anger, Veny says, is a common disguise for depression among men.
Veny contends that this is especially true in a society in which many men are struggling to determine just what a healthy sense of masculinity is. Mike says he has accepted that his battle with depression and anxiety may be an ongoing one and emphasizes that he only wants to be in control of his life. As a professional drummer, he uses his talent for personal therapy, reaching out to others, and for his continuing advocacy for understanding mental health issues.
As a mental health keynote speaker, some may find it odd that Veny never wanted to be a speaker in the first place. Mike says he’s far more interested in people not dying and only wants to be a disruption that will get people talking about mental health. Until the suicide rate drops to zero, Mike assures, he won’t close his mouth about mental health. He is honored to have had the opportunity to work with OC87 Recovery Diaries to release this video on depression and masculinity.
More information about Mental Health issues can be found in this post on HealthCentral in which our Special Projects Editor, Michael Kasdan was quoted.
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