Obviously, mental health speakers talk about mental health, usually from a place of lived experience or from professional experience.
Mental health and mental health stigma are hot topics these days
More schools, universities, and workplaces are embracing the topic of mental health having realized that emotionally healthy people perform better and find more joy in life. Mental health speakers are inspiring conversation and de-stigmatizing a topic that has been buried in the bottom of a deeply dug latrine for decades.
Mental health speakers make mental health more mainstream and help people become more comfortable with it.
In the past and still, even now, some companies think that the answer to improving productivity is to teach people productivity skills. Schools have long “taught to the test” to try and boost student scores.
But if we want performance and productivity in our schools and workplaces, we have to focus on humans. Because the foundation of performance and productivity is emotional health. Pushing people when they don’t have that foundation amounts to burnout and dropout.
What you want is a mental health speaker to motivate, inspire, offer hope, resources and skills that help resolve and lessen suffering.Anne Moss Rogers, Mental Health Speaker
Delivery for mental health topics
Dry, homogenized training-type delivery won’t stick like storytelling which is the preferred approach. Because people relate to and are riveted by good storytellers.
The fastest way to inspire your audience to reach for their phones and scroll through social media is a presentation packed with statistics and slides that read like a book.
Storytelling, on the other hand, works in all settings because humans relate to stories more than statistics. To inspire your audience, the presentation should be relatable, authentic, moving, and vulnerable.
Think about your goals
Do you want a mental health speaker to solve a problem by teaching specific skills? Are you looking for interactive activities and role-play for certain events that have happened at work or school? Do you want to inspire employees or students to take advantage of resources or be wellness leaders?
Figure out your event goals before contacting a mental health speaker so you can relay your vision for the event. That way the speaker can recommend which program will best deliver what you are looking for.
Most good mental health speakers will customize the presentation. If they do only “one size fits all,” move on!
Your mental health speaker should…
- be trained
- understand and appreciate cultural differences and customs
- follow guidelines on safe messaging
- provide resources that suit your audience’s needs
- provide examples and stories that punctuate a point or teach a skill
- leave the audience feeling hopeful for themselves, their future, and others
4 H’s of a Good Mental Health Story
The speaker’s story of hardship. This should not be overly graphic or sensationalized, but real and authentic.
What helped that person through the crisis? The mental health speaker should describe how they got through the crisis and found help and hope. This step is important, as it illustrates the value of support and provides resources or actions others can take.
How did the speaker find healing or recovery? How did this change them for the better? What kind of support helped? What healthy coping strategies were used?
They should share how they maintain recovery and share their hope for others.