LITTLE ROCK, Ark., June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mike Veny is a man of many talents. As a corporate drumming event facilitator, his drums transform dull and boring corporate events and retreats into something magical, a safe space to bond and a chance to see real synergy evolve from a shared experience.
Veny, however, is much more than his drumming. He has something in common with one out of four people in the U.S.
"I struggle with a variety of mental health challenges on a daily basis," said Veny.
Depending on whom you ask, the term 'mental health' encompasses a range of issues. The term is often used in conjunction with 'mental illness,' 'emotional health,' 'behavioral health,' and 'psychological health.' Regardless of the term used, people are typically referring to the health of one's emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Most people can control these, but many more cannot. Mental health issues can be very frustrating for everyone involved.
Unlike a medical condition involving the physical body, mental health conditions are difficult to diagnose and treat. Pain in a wrist that lasts for more than a few days will certainly need medical attention, but for those who have chronic depression, it may not be as clear. Many only accept their feelings as normal, and they never realize the underlying condition.
"I had more than my fair share of difficulties before I gained insight into my underlying problems," said Veny, "and once I was able to tackle my mental health challenges head on, I decided to give back and educate others on these issues. Speaking about this sore subject is a critical part of my recovery."
Veny is a mental health motivational speaker who shares his past and current struggles within the mental health community. His goal is to help as many people as possible feel a sense of hope, offer practical steps that people can take to get help and educate families on the elements of their loved one's mental health challenges.
Veny refers to 'stigma' as the negative perceptions people have about mental health challenges. The stigma includes prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes. With the stigma surrounding mental health, a sufferer's problems can quickly turn to statistics.
"Here are some frightening statistics in Arkansas: Between 2010 and 2014, more than half the population living with a diagnosed mental illness were not getting treated," said Veny, "and 5 percent of the population had seriously considered suicide. Although it's statistically small, it's a clear indicator that people are in dire need of care".
Veny's approach to educating the general populace on mental illness starts with something that many have in common: shame.
"Stigma begins with shame, and once the shaming process begins, there is a high chance of destructive personal outcomes." Veny's friendly and personal approach helps attendees to reach loved ones without being too forward, "something that can quickly backfire on someone with mental challenges," said Veny.
Veny says that "you need to take care of yourself to transform shame. You need to keep the subject of mental health in everyday conversation to transform the silence. You need to intentionally look for teachable moments to help others to transform self-destructive behavior and suicide."
"The people of Arkansas have a tremendous opportunity to transform stigma if they choose to view mental health challenges differently. Like many things in life, the solution lies in how you decide to look at the problem," said Veny.
Veny is available for speaking engagements. He will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2017 MidSOUTH Summer Conference for Integrated Behavioral Health Studies. The conference takes place at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and will be held from June 5th to June 7th. The theme of the event is 45 Years of Navigating the Future.
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SOURCE Mike Veny