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Mike Veny

Mike Veny

Unleash Your Groove
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Program Descriptions

Transforming Stigma into Strength™
As a child, Mike Veny was hospitalized, expelled from 3 schools, medicated and put into special education, where he learned that tapping erasers on the desk make a great sound, a skill that would one day lead to a very successful career as a professional drummer. In his journey, Mike found that stigma not only affects those who struggle with mental health challenges; it also has a profound effect on professionals in the mental health field. This keynote presentation offers a fresh perspective on mental health stigma and simple steps on how to turn it into a strength.

Drum Up Your Feelings™
Drumming creates a sense of connectedness with self and others.That’s right, the simple act of having people gather in a circle and bang out a beat can be tremendously uniting, motivating, and downright fun. Participants will learn simple music skills, rhythms, and how to work as a team. By the end of this session, participants will be able to perform a complex percussion rhythm as a team, create an original percussion composition, and feel a stronger bond with participants. Lots of music will be made with Toca Percussion instruments. Participants will experience smiles, laughter, and excitement through interactive games – tremendously uniting, motivating, and downright FUN.

Drum Up Your Feelings™ – Leadership Edition
Similar to the above program, this one emphasizes critical leadership skill development. Your leaders and staff will learn The 10 Leadership Lessons That Drumming Teaches Us.™ Each participant will receive the Drum Up Your Feelings™ Leadership Workbook. Great for staff development, training and retreats at mental health, behavioral health, and substance abuse organizations.

Unleash Your Groove™
Having truly motivated attendees is a very powerful thing – energy goes up, people get along better, and it makes your event more exciting. Keep your audience motivated through engaging them in a team-building activity that is fresh, engaging, exciting, and wildly entertaining. Each attendee will be have a percussion instrument to play and engage in the most energetic activity at your event.


Biography Read more

People who struggle with mental health challenges from all over the world are singing the praises of professional drummer, Mike Veny. He's a sought after mental health speaker & drumming workshop facilitator who consistently inspires audiences, increases the visibility of mental health organizations, and makes life easy for event planners.

After suffering from a mental health breakdown in August of 2011, Mike made the decision to use his speaking & drumming skills to help others with similar challenges. Each day is an uphill battle with obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, anger, and depression. He is committed to inspiring people to feel hope.

This has become a critical part of his recovery. Mike has presented at the YAI International Conference, the Canadian Mental Health Association Halton Region Youth Summit, along with events for affiliates, chapters, and member organizations of the ARC, Mental Health America, NAMI, the National Council for Behavioral Health, the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, & Youth Move National.

Mike discovered his talent for speaking through convincing the staff at psychiatric hospitals to discharge him 3 times during his childhood. In addition to being hospitalized as a child, he was expelled from 3 schools and medicated in attempts to reduce his behavioral outbursts. By the fifth grade, Mike was put in special education. Aside from getting more individualized attention from the teacher, he learned that pencil erasers make a great sound when tapped on a desk. He had no idea that drumming would become his career or his path to recovery.

Beyond speaking, bringing interactive drumming to mental health events allows Mike to share his full time job with world. When he's not speaking, he's memorizing music, rehearsing, performing, and recording with a variety of artists. As a Member of the Board of Directors of The Fender Music Foundation & writer for Corporate Wellness Magazine, Mike enjoys helping others get the opportunity to experience music making.

Mike firmly believes that mental health challenges and people challenges go hand in hand. Once he came to this realization, he began to value relationships with others. He works hard to constantly grow relationships and immediately resolve any conflicts. His speeches address the challenge of mental stigma through a message that encourages simple, proactive actions. This provides a guideline for people to see their challenges in a positive light and organizations to increase funding.

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