Mental Health Presentation Grades 7-12 University/College

"I found my purpose beyond illness. That's when transformation began and healing happened. Whether you suffer or support a loved one, I want to help you find your purpose. It all begins with hope and positive change." 

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 does 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 live in the dark; many are our youth, so young, so innocent, so scared. 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, motivational speaker, teacher, and author of five books including my memoir, Two Sides To The Story: Living A Lie (Chipmunka Publishing, UK, 2013), my battle with mental illness and remarkable recovery, which has sold approximately 4000 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 DOES 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 empathy, 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/Follow-Up & Presentation Tidbits

This DOCUMENT outlines activities that your school and school community 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, upon request, 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 most definitely the key to positive action.  

Here is a QUESTIONNAIRE that can be distributed following my visit. It is a chance for students to reflect on my messages. Answers can be written by students OR discussed as a class. Questions can be used for any follow-up activities, or discussion prior to my visit. Classroom activities tied to mental health and wellness are always encouraged to continue the conversation. You can always review my "goals" on this page.

Time for Presentation: 1 hour (+/- 5 min.) 

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.

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. Thank you.

Creating Mental Health Awareness In Our Schools

Since 2013, I have hosted over 150 presentations at schools and organizations about my battle with mental illness and finding hope, purpose, and healing in my life. I continue to speak in the 2018-2019 school year. My feedback has been superlative. I would love to come out to your school or university/college to present.

My goals:

  • Educating and understanding mental illness
  • Speaking up early to get help, and listening to one another
  • Inspiring hope, faith, purpose, resilience, and healing (Healing DOES happen!)
  • Building on our mental or psychological, spiritual and physical health
  • The dangers of stigma and how to eliminate all types of bullying in our schools and community
  • Applying "Social Emotional Learning (SEL)" in our own lives, and in our interactions with others
  • Saying all the right things – how to talk effectively about suicide with our youth
  • The utmost importance of loving support – empathy, acceptance, and compassion
  • Never give up, always look up  every step counts

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, but without eliminating the fear and shame that accompanies sickness, sufferers will remain in the dark. 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.

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. Thank you.



"We are indebted to you Chris Nihmey for your ongoing contributions on our OCSB Mental Health journey. Sincere gratitude for your leadership in OCSB and beyond."
Denise Andre, OCSB Director, 2018

"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