Transforming Stigma

Transforming Stigma, Mike Veny

A mental health speaker just got real about his own mental health. Only 5% of people with chronic health conditions practice self-care says Mike Veny. “So statistically that’s zero. Basically, it’s a nonsense term that we throw around telling each other to do, but nobody’s doing it.”


Mental Health is a Journey

Highlights from the interview:
  • Mike is America’s leading mental health speaker and a corporate drumming facilitator. Drumming helped him overcome his mental health challenges.
  • Mike started his mental health journey when he was young. They manifested as behavior problems. He was the poster child for mental health issues: hospitalized three times, kicked out of three schools, attempted suicide at age 10, and was violent at home.
  • He is still working on his mental health issues. It’s become more manageable. He doesn’t self-harm anymore, but he does have to manage his thinking. He still struggles with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He had a breakdown and was hospitalized early in 2017.
  • One of the most powerful skills one can learn is to just sit with your feelings, and to admit that you are powerless over your emotions. That has been incredibly humbling and insightful.
  • Mental health is a process, not a destination. Mental health issues are confusing and frustrating for everyone. He just wanted a solution as a kid and as an adult.
  • He has to make the decision to be mentally healthy every day. Part of that includes 30 minutes of journaling. Sometimes he doesn’t want to do that because he knows how painful his thoughts were that day and he’d rather get a drink at the bar. But he promises to show up for himself, so he journals.
  • Mike’s Health Central article on How to Practice Self-Care Without Being Selfish.
  • Mike’s TedX talk on Mental Illness is an Asset

Listen to the episode for the full story.



Lifestory Writing




Stacy’s Journal

Welcome to Stacy’s Journal! In this segment, I let you peek into my journal as I share my thoughts on a topic or resilience resource. One of the things that Mike recommended as a first step for anyone with tough issues is to talk about it. In fact, this interview has been one of my favorites because Mike himself was unafraid to talk about his suicide attempts and his struggles.

We often find ourselves in a culture of secrecy. Just think about how many women spoke up in 2017 about sexual harassment and who kept those secrets for sometimes decades. And think about the women who are still not speaking up because they are afraid. I get it, I’ve kept secrets I shouldn’t have too. In fact, most of my life I never spoke up for myself, until I was in my 40’s. Writing my stories helped me to get clear about them and to share them with others.

Listen, you should never suffer alone. Others may share your thoughts and opinions, or even have similar issues, but may be also unwilling to speak up. By speaking your truth and sharing your stories, you encourage them to voice their opinions as well. I can teach you how to share your story in my upcoming free webinar 4 Simple, Proven Methods to Writing the First Chapter of Your Life Story in Just 7 days. It’s for writers and non-writers and it’s a great way to get started, especially if you’ve been hesitant to tell your stories. Head over to for that.


That’s all we have for today. Last episode, Sharon Roth-Lichtenfeld talked about finding peace and joy in the midst of adversity – so if adversity has camped out at your house, you might want to go back and have a listen. Next week, we’ll interview Luis Congdon who talks about being homeless at age five and how poetry saved him.


I love interacting with our listeners on social media. We’re on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and just about anywhere you can hold a great virtual conversation. Plus, I answer all my emails personally, so feel free to email me: stacy{at}stacybrookman{dot}com.


100 Most Important Memoirs of the Past 200 Years

This week’s memoir is: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

One more thing…we’re having fun counting down the 100+ Most Important Memoirs of the past 200 years. So our memoir of the day is The Autobiography of Malcolm X. In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement to veteran writer and journalist Alex Haley. In a unique collaboration, Haley worked with Malcolm X for nearly two years, interviewing, listening to, and understanding the most controversial leader of his time. Check out The Autobiography of Malcolm X and all the memoirs on this list at

blankClick on the graphic to learn about this memoir and all of the most important memoirs of the past 200 years…


About: Mike Veny

Mike Veny is America’s leading mental health speaker and a high-energy drum circle facilitator. He delivers educational, engaging, and entertaining presentations to meetings and conferences throughout the world. As a 2017 PM360 ELITE Award Winner, Mike is recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the healthcare industry. He starred in several OC87 Recovery Diaries documentary films, two of which were featured at the 2017 Reel Minds Film series.

Mike is fiercely committed to wellness, suicide prevention, and helping people work together more smoothly. If you are looking for a proven speaker who can address the stigma surrounding mental health and deliver a corporate drumming event, then you have come to the right place.

With 15 years of experience electrifying audiences and making meeting planners look good, his mission is to empower people to connect authentically.



Links: Write of Your Life, Life Story, Memoir

Facebook: Mike Veny
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Why write a life story you never want to publish




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