Erasing Stigma: The Top Mental Health Speakers Changing the Narrative
Every year, we observe World Mental Health Day in order to raise awareness and mobilize global efforts to support mental health. Lavin’s Top Mental Health Speakers are at the forefront of this sea change, having the tough conversations that shift perspectives and save lives.
Celebrated for being the first Inuk player in the NHL, Jordin Tootoo understands his responsibility as an Indigenous role model. He speaks openly about the need for mental health resources—especially in remote communities like the one he grew up in—and fighting the life-threatening taboos around mental illness. His Tootoo foundation, founded in honor of his late brother Terence, supports suicide awareness, subtance abuse counseling, and helping youth at risk.
Jayson Greene’s life was transformed by a tragic accident that led to the death of his two-year-old-daughter Greta. Overcome with unimaginable grief, the former music editor channelled his pain into writing what eventually became the critically acclaimed memoir Once More We Saw Stars. Rich in empathy, hope, and the transformative power of love, this once-in-a-generation work has reframed the difficult conversations we have around family, parenthood, death, and healing—imbuing them with an unwavering sense of optimism.
The conversation around social media has reached a critical point. Even the creators of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are reckoning with the unstoppable force they’ve created, and the ways it’s been co-opted by trolls, conspiracy theorists, and white supremacists. In his new book Antisocial, Andrew Marantz considers what online radicalization has done to our lives and mental well-being—and how we can reverse the troubling trend.
As rates of depression and anxiety continue to climb globally, award-winning investigative journalist Johann Hari proposes a radical question: what if the problem goes beyond our own brains? In his groundbreaking book Lost Connections, Hari interviewed the leading experts in the field to discover the real causes of depression—and a different set of solutions than the ones we’ve heard before.
Asperger’s is not a disease that needs curing; it’s a way of experiencing life that requires understanding. In his bestselling memoir Look Me in the Eye, John Elder Robinson writes about his experience growing up with autism—and going undiagnosed until the age of 40. Filled with hope, compassion, and resilience, Robison offers us a new way to think about living with disability, and reminds us that people “on the spectrum” can develop throughout their lives.
Public art is not merely a way of beautifying our cities—it’s a venue that inspires powerful conversations. Candy Chang—the urban artist behind the ‘Before I Die’ walls—offers a new way for communities to connect with each other, reflect on their anxiety, hopes, and fears, and nurture a sense of collective health and well-being.
It’s no secret that Michael Landsberg—former host of the iconic TSN program Off the Record—has a big personality. Today, he uses his charisma, humour, and national platform to have an eye-opening dialogue about mental health. His nonprofit #SickNotWeak reminds us that mental illness is not a personal deficiency, but a health issue that should be treated as such.
Do we have the power to make change happen without using words? Violinist Vijay Gupta thinks so. Believing that artistic pursuits are at the heart of social justice and collective well-being, Gupta has made a concerted effort to merge music with mental health. Recently, he was named a MacArthur Fellow for his work with Street Symphony, “providing musical enrichment and valuable human connection to the homeless, incarcerated, and other under-resourced communities in Los Angeles.”
In his latest book Irresistible, New York Times bestselling author Adam Alter investigates what it is about technology—be it our social media apps, our Netflix subscription, or our phones in general—that makes it impossible to ignore. How does addictive tech influence our mental health, communication, and financial well-being? Alter shows us how—and teaches us how to win back our time, attention, and money.
To book a Mental Health speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a skilled representative.