February 3, 2020 / Mental health advocate Mike Veny to speak at
VINCENNES, Ind. – Professional speaker, author, and drummer Mike Veny
will share his inspiring testimony of how he turned his mental health
challenges into assets at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at the Red
Skelton Performing Arts Center on the Vincennes University campus.
Veny will present “Transforming Stigma: How to Become A Mental
Wellness Superhero”. This free program is open to the public.
“The Vincennes University Counseling Center is thrilled to welcome
Mike Veny to our campus and the Vincennes community,” said VU Director
of Counseling Services Jennifer Andrews. “Mike has a wonderful message
to share and this is a great opportunity for our students to be
informed of how to persevere through any obstacle they may face in
their personal life and be successful.”
Veny has delivered a TedX talk and has been featured on national television.
“Mike is an example of someone who takes his mental health challenges
and turns them into opportunities for strength, growth and
leadership,” said VU licensed clinical social worker Kathy Evans. “We
hope people will take the time to hear his inspirational story.”
The Red Skelton Performing Arts Center is located at 20 W. Red
About Mike Veny
Mental health speaker and best-selling author Mike Veny delivers
engaging presentations with raw energy and a fresh perspective on
diversity and inclusion. He shares how he went from struggling with
mental health challenges to being a thought leader that travels the
globe telling his story to help transform stigma.
He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, corporate drumming event
facilitator, author, and luggage enthusiast.
Mike is the author of the book “Transforming Stigma: How to Become
a Mental Wellness Superhero” and “The Transforming Stigma
Workbook”. As a 2017
PM360 ELITE Award Winner, he is recognized as one of the 100
most influential people in the healthcare industry for his work as a
Mike’s path to becoming a public speaker became evident at an early
age. He convinced the staff at psychiatric hospitals to discharge him
three times during his childhood. In addition to being hospitalized as
a child, he was expelled from three schools, attempted suicide, and
was medicated in efforts to reduce his emotional instability and
By the fifth grade, Mike was put in a special education class. Aside
from getting more individualized attention from the teacher, he
learned that pencil erasers make great sounds when tapped on a desk.
He had no idea that drumming would become his career or his path to recovery.
As an adult, Mike spent many years facilitating drum workshops for
children with special needs, teaching them to channel their energy by
banging a drum and at the same time learning how to listen, focus,
work together and succeed through teamwork. The project was such a hit
that he continued to expand his drumming program, first to adults in
recovery and eventually into the corporate setting.
Diversity and Inclusion have been an important part of Mike’s life
since childhood. He attended schools where students came from all
different kinds of backgrounds—ethnic, religious, and economical. This
inspired him to build his company team from a diverse group of people.
Embracing Diversity & Inclusion sets a team up to deliver better
results, which is a message that he loves to share.
Mike’s perspectives have been featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS News. He
was a former guest on The
Fresh Outlook TV news show, a writer for Corporate
Wellness Magazine and HealthCentral.com,Mental Illness
is An Asset, his compelling TEDx talk, has been used in
college classrooms and gotten sensational reviews. He was a keynote
speaker at the 2014 YAI Network’s International Conference on
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and regularly works with
chapters of the Arc, the largest national community-based organization
advocating for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Jennifer Andrews, LCSW, LAC
Director, Counseling Services
Kathy Evans, LCSW
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College
VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the
Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in
Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers,
and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education
Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in
Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing
and Logistics in Fort Branch. A leader in developing Early Colleges
statewide, VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.
In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and
certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in
technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs
in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.
VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21
other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana
campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only
college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become
President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S.
President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana
Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.
Vincennes University Newsroom
MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports
812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell,
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom