mental health | January 30, 2019

Today is #BellLetsTalk: End the Stigma Around Mental Health and Start Talking

The stigma surrounding mental illness is one of the biggest barriers to mental health care. The #BellLetsTalk initiative encourages people to get talking and save lives—and keynote speakers Michael Landsberg, Vijay Gupta, and Waneek Horn-Miller, are experts at starting the conversation.  

Michael Landsberg—an ambassador for #BellLetsTalk—uses his story to start the conversation. Landsberg was the brash, witty host of TSN’s Off the Record—an 18-season sports talk show full of personality, fun, and healthy debate. No one would have ever known that Landsberg was battling anxiety and depression, but now, in warm, intelligent keynotes, he talks about it: “Imagine you had the power to change lives just by talking. Imagine if you knew you could save lives by simply telling your story … together, we can change the stigma that surrounds this disease.”

Michael Landsberg Talks About Depression



Violinist Vijay Gupta uses music to start the conversation: “Arts are a powerful force for community, belonging and humanity,” he says. His groundbreaking Street Symphony program provides musical enrichment and valuable human connection to L.A.’s homeless and incarcerated community. In keynotes, this charismatic MacArthur “Genius” transforms research and real experience into a compelling story about the connection between music and mental health. When language fails, music is able to communicate, drawing people from the brink of their darkest times. 


Opening Plenary Session - Vijay Gupta



Waneek Horn-Miller uses hope to start the conversation. At 14, she was stabbed by a Canadian solider for protesting developments on Mohawk land. Ten years later, she became the first Canadian Mohawk woman to compete in the Olympics and grace the cover of TIME. Today, she’s an expert on Indigenous reconciliation, explaining in keynotes how to undertake the hard work of changing history. It takes frank, sometimes uncomfortable debate; extending empathy despite differences; and ultimately, making a pledge to maintain hope. “Without hope,” she says, “there is no health.” 


Without hope, there’s no health | Waneek Horn-Miller | Walrus Talks


To book one of Lavin’s extraordinary mental health speakers, contact The Lavin Agency.


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politics & society | January 29, 2019