Mental Health Presentation for Grades 7-12

Fear and silence still pervade our hallways. Kids are afraid to speak up. I saw it and felt it as a student, I see it now as an educator. Change is imperative. With the right measures in play, healing can happen. I lived it, I proved it, I now share my story. No one should ever have to live a lie as I did, yet so many do. My story of hope and healing is one that resonates with students. One can heal from severe illness and make a difference. I am a survivor.

My name is Chris Nihmey. I am a mental illness advocate, illness survivor, presenter, teacher, and author of four books including my memoir, Two Sides To The Story: Living A Lie, Chipmunka Publishing, UK, my battle with mental illness and remarkable recovery, which has sold over 2000 copies. Since its release in 2013, I have had the wonderful opportunity of speaking to students throughout Ontario about my story of hope, resilience, and healing. Healing CAN happen. We can speak to students, time and time again, about mental health, wellness, and stigma, but when a survivor shares their own life experiences, and their road to healing, the impact is profound. Attitudes and views change forever, as does compassion and acceptance for sufferers and their loved ones.

I lived a lie, hiding my illnesses for over a decade to avoid discrimination and prejudice. No one should have to do this. We all have a story to share. I now share mine.

“I am not the illness. I have an illness. SEE THE PERSON, not the illness.” -Chris Nihmey


Preparatory and Follow-Up Activities

This DOCUMENT outlines activities that members of your school/organization/institution can implement prior to, and following my talk, to ensure that my message is well-received, understood, and reinforced. I will provide staff with a 6 page document which includes mental health links, resources, effective tips & ideas, and several ways that teachers/parents can educate their students and children at home to create awareness, understanding, and compassion for those who struggle. Included are steps that teachers/parents can take to receive direction and treatment for their own ailments. Each listener will receive a bookmark that links to my website. On my website are many mental health links and resources, including a contact page where I can be reached following my talk. Help is always available, prior to, and following my talk. Never hesitate to reach out. Early intervention is the key.  

Time for Presentation: Approximately 1 hour 

Presentation Fee: $400 for one presentation, $500 for two, $600 for three.

Creating Mental Health Awareness In Our Schools

Since 2013, I have spoken at approximately 50 different schools and venues about my battle with mental illness and finding hope, purpose, and healing in my life. My feedback has been superlative. I would love to come out to your school, university, college, or organization to present.

My goals:

  • Educating and understanding mental illness
  • Inspiring hope, purpose, 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

We are all responsible 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 leads to suffering and in some instances, suicide. Taking your life is never a choice, but a decision impacted by circumstances within and around us. Reaching out to someone is a choice. We must destroy the fear and shame that accompanies sickness. Until our loved ones feel they can safely step forward and share their stories without judgement and prejudice, they will choose to hide and ultimately lose hope. They must know, deep down, that they are not alone. Every life matters. Hope and healing is a gift we all deserve.

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. Thank you.

If you are interested in a visit, please click on the "Reserve Your Presentation Now" button. This will take you to my “Contact Chris” page.


"Chris Nihmey is a gifted speaker, animated presenter, and passionate educator. Chris has a wonderful command of an audience. His message is both necessary and timely. His material is authentic; not just well researched, but also personally lived. In no way threatening, but in every way important and relevant, every school, professional business and any institutions working to improve social-emotional learning and development must hear Chris Nihmey’s presentation. Positive responses can’t help but be the result. Chris has a true calling to deliver this critical message about mental health. His connection to faith woven into his presentation is not artificial or contrived. He speaks to the heart from the heart!"

Ann Louise Revells, Principal, OCSB, Ottawa


"I can't THANK YOU enough. It was a fantastic day and event ... and having you as a part of it means so much. I think it was obvious from the students in the audience and their attentiveness and interest. WOW! I mean it was Friday afternoon before a long weekend and you couldn't hear a pin drop. That says so much! I just wish we had more time because the students really had such an interest. You are so inspiring and your story has touched so many lives."

Kelly Scrim, Teacher, Ottawa


"Chris recently came to Longue Sault PS to speak to my staff about his journey. He hit it out of the ballpark ... wow!  My staff were blown away by his story and message which contained useful, research based information which can be used to support all public education stakeholders. I highly recommend Chris Nihmey as a professional speaker for any organization interested in increasing their capacity to properly support mental health in their workplace."

Kieran Kennedy, Principal, Upper Canada District School Board


"Thank you again for your wonderful, energetic, empowering and solutions-oriented presentation! I wish you every success expanding your clientele and taking your presentation and message to new heights!"

Shannon Parsons - Ottawa SALUS Community Mental Health Services