Ali Rothrock’s passion for helping people started when she became a firefighter in 2005. Since then she has enjoyed more than thirteen years in the emergency services, both as a firefighter and an Emergency Medical Technician. Ali earned her Associate’s Degree in Fire Science in 2010 and published her memoir, Where Hope Lives, later that year. In 2012 she began traveling around the country to share her story. She became a domestic violence and sexual assault counselor in 2015. Ali speaks about bullying, sexual assault, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, encouraging students to use be aware of their mental health and how to self-advocate and use positive coping mechanisms. In the field of suicide prevention, she is a certified QPR suicide prevention instructor. Ali is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in crisis counseling. Ali is also a Certified Trauma Responder with the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists. Contact Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a child, Evan was one of the best-performing students in his elementary school. He achieved one of the top scores in the state in a standardized math test, and was enthusiastic about his classes and learning. At the same time, he was experiencing panic attacks and generalized anxiety, but at this age, he didn’t know how to verbalize what he felt inside. The lack of being able to express his feelings, mixed with the fact that his anxiety was somewhat sporadic, led to him accepting these things as if they were just a part of his personality.
Once Evan entered his final year of middle school, things took a turn for the worse. His anxiety was no longer random, but rather an everyday battle. Still believing it was a personality trait that he just needed to learn to live with, he told nobody in his family about these feelings. The daily panic attacks and generalized anxiety would soon be followed by depression, and eventually problems with substance abuse. The combination of all of these things created a life where he felt he had no control. Still, he never asked for help. Eventually, Evan transformed from someone who had once been a friendly, hardworking student into a person who treated others poorly, all while treating himself even worse.
About two and a half weeks into his senior year of high school, Evan found himself in a situation he couldn’t have ever imagined; he was arrested, kicked out of his high school, and spent his 18th birthday on house arrest. Mentally, he was at his lowest point and truly thought this was the beginning of the end. After one particularly combative interaction with a friend, Evan had what he calls his “ah-hah!” moment. It was the first time he became aware of how his actions were affecting those around him, as well as himself. That day, Evan made a commitment to himself to get through his problems no matter what, and he never looked back. He rediscovered his enthusiasm about learning and his work ethic, putting them to use in modifying his lifestyle and creating a positive mindset. Evan was able to completely turn around his situation and his prospects for the future.
Today, Evan has found his passion in functional health care, and encourages others to combine lifestyle changes with traditional treatments in order to have the best chance at seeing optimal results, both in their physical and mental health. By sharing his story, Evan hopes to spark the “ah-hah” moment for others who are suffering, inspiring them to speak up and ask for help.
Evan is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.
Jordan is a public speaker who discusses the mental health issues and disorders that affect so many of us. He is a survivor of a suicide attempt during his senior year in high school and shares his powerful story of fighting depression and finding recovery.
Jordan is a nationally recognized mental health advocate. In 2008 he addressed a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. In 2010 he was chosen as one of the “Best of Philly” for his work in public speaking and advocacy. In 2012 he was honored with an Emerging Humanitarian Award from retired San Francisco 49ers player Nmadi (Nam-DEE) Asomugha (Awesome-Wah) and the Asomugha Foundation.
He has been featured in People Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today. Jordan has appeared on ESPN’s E:60 and Outside the Lines, as well as Dr. Phil, The Ricki Lake Show, CNN, the Early Show and Good Morning America. He has been featured in three documentaries and his piece, “Unbreakable” with E:60 was nominated for an Emmy. Most recently, you might have seen Jordan at the White House for the National Conference on Mental Health, hosted by President Obama and Vice President Biden.
Jordan has been speaking on his story and mental health all over the country for the last 8 years. He’s spoken in 32 different states and 3 different countries. His presentation is meant to inspire, educate and allow others to know they’re not alone.
Jordan is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.
Melissa is a licensed professional counselor with extensive experience in the treatment of eating disorders. She began her career at The Renfrew Center and worked both at the residential facility as a counselor as well as the outpatient facility where she worked in all levels of care and acted as a manager of the Intensive Outpatient unit. Melissa utilizes evidence-based therapy which includes Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Enhanced for Eating Disorders, Response-Prevention, and Prolonged Exposure to provide the gold standard treatments for all the psychiatric disorders that she treats.
When she was eight years old, Jenna’s father passed away. The effects of this trauma on her young life took a toll. She was diagnosed with anxiety, something she could not comprehend at the tender age of eight.
Beginning in elementary school, and continuing through middle school and high school, she developed negative coping skills. One of the most powerful was perfectionism; however, she only strived to look good for other people and never saw her own worth.
When Jenna started college, she and her best friend made a promise to seek treatment for their diagnoses of anxiety and depression. She faced a series of traumatic events throughout her college experience, and through her commitment to treatment and ongoing therapy, she not only survived but eventually thrived. She is now a mental health advocate, enlightening others and ending the stigma about mental health issues.
Jenna is based in Boston, MA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.
Sheila is a licensed social worker and a certified child and adolescent psychotherapist with over fifteen years of experience in the mental health field. In addition to her work with Minding Your Mind, she has a clinical counseling practice where she provides individual, family and group counseling to a broad range of clients including adults, adolescents and children. She also serves as the Director of Graduate Admissions at Bryn Mawr College.
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.
As a teenager entering high school, Scott knew his life was going to change – everyone goes through changes in high school, right? What he did not expect was that the change would come in the form of depression.
After being cut from his high school basketball team, Scott began to feel worthless and spent his days mentally abusing himself. It was also around this time that Scott developed severe acne that made him extremely self-conscious about his image. Throughout college, Scott struggled to pull himself out of the self-hatred and negativity that filled his mind, but the issues only grew.
Scott was able to turn his world around by incorporating positivity into his life. It was difficult at first, trying to put small points and acts of positivity into every day. Sticking with these efforts, the more Scott implemented different strategies focused on changing his mindset, the more he began to see his life drastically change. Scott learned how to achieve self-security regardless of what life threw his way. By harnessing the power of positive self-talk, Scott realized that thoughts are just as important as actions.
Scott has a passion for helping others; his goal is to help people overcome the everyday mental obstacles that hold them back in life. His story is powerful, relatable, and relevant to students, and will give parents a window into what their children may be thinking and feeling about themselves. Scott works to inspire others to climb out of the darkness and find the light in their lives.
Scott is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.