LEND ME YOUR EARS
For schools, universities, colleges, and organizations/institutions that are looking for public awareness, I have put together virtual multi-media presentations to share very important messages. Whether I’m speaking about mental health and wellness, 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 DOES happen!)
- You are not the illness. You have an illness. See the person, not the illness
- Pain is pain, body or brain, it is all the same
- Listening to one another and providing hope
- The dangers of stigma and the fight to eliminate it
- Discussing suicide appropriately with our youth
- Finding purpose and meaning beyond suffering
- Giving one another love, respect, and the strength to speak up
- Never give up, always look up - every step counts
- The utmost importance of loving support – empathy, acceptance & compassion
- You are never alone
READING AND WRITING
- The timeless gifts of writing and reading
- Reading & writing are therapeutic – these change lives instantly
- An author’s perspective – the amazing writing process
- The editing process. Is it important? YES!
- The strong connection between reading and writing
- Use your words to inspire others and change lives
- Reading and writing changed my world forever
Opening The Lines Of Communication
Whether I am speaking about mental health, or the important skills of 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 share a responsibility to reach out to others in our schools, workplaces, and homes, 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 may have about mental health and my story, questions that 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. My illustrated picture book, Sally, and Reflections From Another Side are also available for high school students/teachers OR organizations/institutions to purchase. Parents will be notified by newsletter prior to my visit. I always encourage parents to read each of these books first to open the lines of communication, and to discuss mature themes with their children.
Please note, at every school/organization/institution I visit, 25% of all book sale profits from this day will be donated for mental health or reading and writing initiatives. It is a creative way to help raise some money for the school/organization/institution.
Time for Presentation/Workshop: one hour presentation / half-day workshop
Presentation Fee: $500 for one presentation, $600 for two, $700 for three.
Travelling to your city: I would love to visit. There will be reasonable travelling expenses needed for trips that require 2 or more hours of driving.