LEND ME YOUR EARS
From schools, universities, colleges, and organizations that are looking for public awareness, I have put together multi-media presentations to share very important messages. Whether I’m speaking about mental health, my story of hope and healing, or reading and writing, I speak about several important themes that are connected in so many ways:
- Educating and understanding mental illness
- Inspiring hope, resilience, and healing - healing CAN happen
- Never give up, always look up - every step counts
- The utmost importance of loving support – empathy, acceptance, and compassion
- The dangers of stigma and the fight to eliminate it
READING AND WRITING
- The timeless gifts of writing and reading
- Reading and writing are therapeutic – they change lives instantly
- An author’s perspective – the amazing writing process
- The strong connection between reading and writing
- Reading and writing changed my world forever
Opening The Lines Of Communication
Whether I am speaking about mental health, or the important skills reading and writing, I speak with authority, combining humour, passion, and inspiration. As a sufferer of mental illness, I avoided stigma for years, living a lie, to hide my disorders in fear of prejudice and discrimination. Reading and writing gave me the courage to step forward and share my story, to make a difference. Through these two skills, we all demonstrate a responsibility for our school and the people within it, especially those suffering from sickness, bullying, abuse or neglect, lacking the support that many of us have. This often leads to pain, suffering and, in some instances, suicide. If we aren't making a difference, what are we doing? It is time for change. Every life matters. If we feel the freedom to reach out and communicate, we will find hope, purpose, and healing in our journeys.
All my presentations can be followed up by a “meet and greet the author”. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to meet the author, receive a complimentary bookmark, and ask any questions they might have about mental health and my story, questions they may be uncomfortable bringing up in a large group. Students from grades 1 to 8 will have the option of purchasing a signed and personalized copy of my illustrated picture book, Sally. Students from grades 9-12 will have the opportunity of purchasing a signed and personalized copy of my memoir, Two Sides To The Story: Living A Lie, and/or Sally. Parents will be notified by newsletter prior to my visit. I always encourage parents to read the book first to open the lines of communication.
Please note, at every school I visit, 25% of all book sale profits from this day will be donated to your school for mental health or reading and writing initiatives. It is a creative way for students and teachers to help raise some money for the school's needs in these areas. Teachers will also have the option of purchasing either book.
Will I travel to your city? Most definitely. I would love to visit. There will be reasonable travelling expenses needed for trips that require 2 or more hours of driving.