Mike Veny, an established speaker on mental well-being and bestselling author of “Transforming Stigma: How to Become a Mental Wellness Superhero,” “Connectivity & Conversations” and “The ROI of Mental Wellness in the Workplace,” spoke to Weber State University students on March 15 as part of the Diversity Symposium.

Keynote speaker Mike Veny
Keynote speaker Mike Veny spoke at the annual Allen Holmes Diversity Symposium. Photo credit: mikeveny.com

The event highlighted mental health in sports and what to look out for in friends, family and teammates.

Veny spoke about his troubling childhood and misunderstood anger and depression.

“I convinced the staff at the psychiatric hospital to discharge me three separate times,” Veny said.

It wasn’t until he discovered a passion for drums and making music that he found an outlet to direct his rage. In fact, his newfound passion allowed him to make money and travel the world. He was opening his eyes to happiness.

The ballroom stage set up for Veny's speech.
The ballroom stage set up for Veny's speech. Photo credit: Adam Montgomery

Veny gave a small demonstration of his award-winning drumming skills on a travel-friendly bongo. He later talked about his current routine and the constantly ongoing struggle with mental health and checking in on oneself.

“Therapy and medication also saved my life,” Veny says.

Mental health is often discouraged from speaking about and is typically placed on the back burner of life.

Veny hopes that by allowing these conversations to be had, it can break the stigma and more people can find their passions and happiness.

Veny still makes music but has since found another love in traveling the world and speaking to those who will listen on the importance of education around mental health.

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