In this program, best-selling author Mark Henick, will outline how individuals can cope with challenging times with a special focus on children and youth. You will explore a broader understanding of mental health, including aspects of how the brain, the mind, and the social environment contribute to building a secure and healthy foundation. Practical strategies and takeaways for managing difficult emotions, and enriching positive experiences will be shared. Mark evocatively uses his personal lived experiences, as well as his years of professional advocacy, to provide clear, simple understanding in a context of supportive, curious inquiry where questions and discussion are welcome.
With over six million views, Mark Henick’s TEDx talk, "Why We Choose Suicide," is among the most watched in the world. His story of searching for “the man in the light brown jacket” who saved his life from a teenage suicide attempt captured global attention, and when he learned of products being sold on Amazon that promoted suicide, his successful online petition to have them removed garnered tens of thousands of signatures. Henick has dedicated his life from an early age to opening minds and creating change. His talks are informed by his direct experience with stigma and the mental health care system, and he brings his diverse and unique perspective to every audience as someone who has been a patient, a professional, a policy influencer, and a public figure in the mental health system.
Henick is currently the Principal and CEO of a boutique consulting firm that helps individuals, companies, and governments to move strategically from awareness to action in improving mental health and wellness. He was previously the National Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), and, prior to that, served as the youngest president of a provincial CMHA division in history, the youngest ever member of the board of directors for Canada’s Mental Health Commission, and as a national spokesperson for the Faces of Mental Illness campaign. He has also worked as a frontline mental health counsellor, and as the manager of a national workplace mental health training program.
Henick has appeared in hundreds of television, radio, print, and online media features on mental health. His work has been featured in such outlets as CTV National News, Entertainment Tonight, the Toronto Star, The New York Daily News, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, and Reader’s Digest. He has had bylines with CNN, The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette, and the Chicago Tribune, among others. The memoir of his experiences, So-Called Normal, was released in January 2021.
Henick holds a Master of Science in child development; a Bachelor of Arts with interdisciplinary honours in psychology and philosophy; and has certificates in trauma counselling, suicide intervention, non-violent crisis intervention, mental health first aid, and knowledge exchange.
Registration is required.
Skills learned: Information literacy, critical thinking, communication
This program is a part of OPL’s Community Conversations Series – OPL’s commitment to creating a community that celebrates diversity, belonging, addressing difficult conversations, and helping build connections.
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