When we talk about mental health with youth, we strip the stigma that shames them into silence.
Julie Connor helps youth talk about mental health (& other tough topics)
Throughout childhood and as a teen, Julie Connor struggled with major depression and a severe panic disorder. She lived in a silent prison of despair; terrified someone would discover she was “crazy.” Julie found the compassionate mental health support and resources she needed at her college campus counseling center.
Now, as a TED and school assembly speaker and mental health expert, Julie helps youth talk about tough topics such as mental health awareness, bullying, substance abuse, and suicide prevention. She empowers youth and adults with communication skills, connections to networks of support, and coping strategies that build resilience. Julie ignites hope and helps others discover their own light.
Julie equips youth with skills to build positive relationships throughout their schools and communities as a peer leadership consultant and Sources of Strength trainer. She shows youth how to leverage their personal and leadership qualities to inspire others, work together to encourage help-seeking behaviors, and promote mental health awareness.
When we talk about tough topics like mental health, we strip the stigma that shames youth into silence.
Call 911 if you or a loved one experience an immediate health crisis.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with a mental health issue, CALL or TEXT 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Trained counselors are available 24/7. Visit www.988Lifeline.org for more information.
Send a TEXT to the Crisis Text Line. Enter 741741 and type “HOME” to speak with a trained counselor, www.crisistextline.org.
Get my FREE Mental Health Toolkit for Teens
This valuable resource equips youth with words to say (and what not to say) when they or someone they care about is struggling with a mental health issue. Emergency contact information to mental health resources and a personal “Help Contact List” are also provided.
Stomp Out S.T.I.G.M.A: Let’s Talk About Mental Health
Youth learn what to say (and what not to say) when they or someone they care about struggle with a mental health issue throughout this interactive presentation. Julie explains how to ask for help. When to steer a friend to a trusted adult. When not to keep a secret. What to say if a friend says “suicide.” Youth discover healthy coping strategies as well as where to find support and mental health resources.
Transform life’s challenges into personal strengths
Teens will discover inspiring ways to take good care of themselves when they face challenges. Julie introduces skills that help youth transform negative self-talk into a positive growth mindset. Protective factors such as healthy activities, friends and family support, mentors, spirituality, as well as physical and mental health resources help youth develop resilience and strong self-care strategies.
Communication Skills that build community
Youth will learn and practice communication and listening skills that build positive relationships in schools and communities that significantly reduce bullying. They discover words to use to ask for help, express their needs, resolve conflict, strengthen friendships, and support one another. Julie introduces how to set appropriate boundaries and explore problem-solving strategies.
#BeThe1To Be there: Suicide invervention & prevention
Suicide is the second leading cause among youth and young adults, ages 10-24 (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, CDC). Youth sometimes confide potentially dangerous information to one another, but don’t know where to turn because they fear violating a friend’s trust. Youth will learn the five #BeThe1To action steps created by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They will practice what to say and who to turn to if a friend admits he or she wants to end their own lives.
Stop bullying right now!
A “bully” uses physical strength, popularity, or humiliating information to control or hurt another person (National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI). Youth who are targets of bullying often struggle with mental health issues, isolation, and poor self-esteem (StopBullying.gov). Bullies often target those who won’t tell anyone. Julie equips youth with words and skills to use if they are bullied by someone. They will also learn what to do – and who to tell – to protect others if they see someone being bullied.
Empowering teens to become peer leaders
Julie equips teens with leadership skills to use their unique gifts and positively impact their school culture and community. Teens will develop collaboration skills to plan events and projects to build supportive connections with peers throughout this highly interactive training experience. They learn tools to create norms, conduct meetings, and plan activities. Julie also trains adults to mentor, support, and empower peer leaders.
What People Say
“Dr. Connor courageously engages students and adults in authentic conversations with sensitivity and poise. She understands how to motivate youth and inspire adults.”
The V.I.P. Movement (Violence I Prevent) Founder
“When I met Julie, I didn’t want to live anymore. She saw a light in me I couldn’t see. She gave me hope when I felt hopeless. Now I feel great about my future.”
Student (Age 16), Orlando, FL
“Our students and faculty were enthralled by Julie’s words of hope. She opens conversations about mental health in ways that help teens feel safe. Julie equips them with communication skills to build positive relationships with one another.”
Cydney Novotney, LMSW
Baldwin High School, Baldwin City, KS
“No one can inspire others like Julie can. She navigates challenging environments, and sensitive topics with sensitivity and grace.”
Teacher, Albuquerque, NM
“We had serious problems in our school. Julie helped us recognize how our words and actions affect others. She made me want to be a better friend to others.”
Student (Age 14), Houston, TX
“Dr. Connor inspires students with valuable, practical information that changes lives. Students feel encouraged with skills to face challenges with hope and resilience.”
Sr. Human Resources Generalist, NWMSU, Maryville, MO
Reduce Stress and Calm Anxiety Right Now
A high school teen I had not seen before came to our youth group discussion about mental health. Jacki admitted, “Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows...
You Be You: Be Proud of Your Authentic Self
"I don't need a role model or mentor," protested a proud seventh-grader. "I am my own role model." Many children believe having a role model or mentor is a sign of weakness. They...
Help! I’m Having a Panic Attack!
My first panic attack happened as I walked into an eighth-grade classroom to begin instruction at 10 a.m. It felt like a giant boulder crushed my chest. I couldn’t breathe. A...