Andrew had it all entering his senior year at Muhlenberg College. He was a starting defensive back for the football team, named captain of the track and field team, and already had a full-time position upon graduation with a large accounting firm in Philadelphia. However, an injury in the first game of the season and increasing pressure to perform caused drastic changes for him. Andrew lost his identity and began deeply struggling. His issues started with insomnia with trouble concentrating in class and on the field. This led him to spiral into a deep, lonely hole. Andrew hid his struggles from family and friends as he pretended that everything was fine, until he experienced suicidal ideations and reached a point where he desperately needed help. After a visit to the ER, he was diagnosed with major clinical depression and severe anxiety, which was extremely difficult for him to accept.
With a strong support group behind him, Andrew and his family began taking the needed steps toward recovery. He took medication for his depression and anxiety and began both psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. It was difficult at first, but over time Andrew began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. He turned to exercise and positive coping skills to work through his inner anger and pain. As his life started to gradually improve, Andrew shared his story in spring of 2014 with many of his teammates, classmates, and friends in the hopes that it would help someone else. The overwhelmingly positive feedback he received inspired him to continue talking about mental health. Andrew’s goal in working with Minding Your Mind is to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issue, and help others who may be suffering to know that they are not alone and that it gets better.
Andrew is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.
Read what organizations have to say about Andrew:
“If you want to make a difference at your school, have Andrew Onimus come talk to your students and parents!” Haverford High School (PA)
“Our students had overwhelmingly positive feedback about the speakers (Andrew & Joey) and how their stories resonated with them and provided great information and hope about dealing with their own mental health.” Hingham High School (MA)
“Andrew was fantastic! He presented to all three grades individually and was able to make it age appropriate for each grade. The students were 100% engaged and I strongly feel he made a connection with our kids. This could be a game changer for our students as they learn how to cope and reach out for help if they suffer from mental health issues.” Winthrop High School (MA)
“Outstanding presentation, Andrew’s openness and honesty was exactly what we need modeled for our students and parents.” Municipality of Princeton – Mayor’s Task Force on Teen Stress and Mental Health (NJ)
“I told my colleagues about Andrew’s presentation – they all want him to come to their classrooms, as well. He was wonderful. My students felt they could really relate to him. I appreciate his honesty. Some said he was the best speaker they have had all year and they have had many. Thank you Andrew!” Crozer Chester Medical Center (PA)
“Andrew was the highlight of the conference. We were truly excited to have such a inspirational story of struggle and hope at our first Alabama Higher Education Suicide Prevention Conference.” Kanessa Doss, COE Director of Operations – Montgomery Campus/ Associate Professor, Psychology, of Troy University