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Colleen Coffey  

Mental Health Advocate, National Speaker & Innovation Project Manager at Phired Up Productions

Colleen Coffey, EdD is a seasoned speaker and mental health advocate. For over a decade, she has been speaking life into audiences and organizations across the country. Coffey has worked with the renowned programming company, Phired Up Productions, for the last 10 years, and currently serves as its Innovation Project Manager with a special interest in organizational recruitment, retention, and relationship focused training. Coffey was also instrumental in the creation and training of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau, serving as a leader in the Active Minds/National Mental Health Awareness Campaign bureau merger.

With a family history of mental health disorders, Coffey was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, disordered eating and obsessive/compulsive disorder at a young age but did not get correct treatment until much later in life. In spite of a high school and college career that included leadership positions, starring roles, and popularity, Coffey silently suffered panic attacks, extreme stress, and feelings of emptiness. While in graduate school, she found proper treatment, and with a combination of psychiatric and medical doctors, a therapist and a nutritionist, she broke out of the cycle of being angry, sad, anxious and preoccupied. She learned that diagnoses don’t lead her life, healthy coping skills were accessible, and she was good enough as herself.

Coffey has become a widely-sought speaker and consultant, devoted to showing audiences that mental health disorders are often a product of biology or environment, or both, and that recovery is possible, stigma is useless, and everyone holds the power to transform communities.

Coffey has a degree in Social Work from Belmont University, a Masters Degree in Student Affairs from Eastern Illinois University, and a Doctorate in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University. She has served as principle investigator on over 10 research projects including a large project evaluating the impact of mental health programming on college students. She has also studied retention and exit voice loyalty among fraternity and sorority members and has special interests in program evaluation, qualitative research, fraternity and sorority recruitment and retention practices, and member/employee efficacy. Coffey is a published author and served as a volunteer advisor to fraternity and sorority chapters for eight years.

Coffey is the mother of three young children, the oldest of whom had a heart transplant at the age of 3. She is a passionate advocate for organ donation, parent-doctor relationships, and congenital heart disease research, and has navigated motherhood against some remarkable odds. She is an active blogger, an avid student and teacher of yoga and pilates, a dater of her husband whom she has loved for over half her life, and mentor to a variety of young professionals in many different fields. Coffey’s presence is appreciated as a loving member at South End United Methodist Church and a parent at High Hopes Inclusive Preschool and Therapy Center.

Coffey challenges her audiences and clients to make a difference, with genuine warmth and strong regard for each and every person listening to her. Her presence on stage and in any organization is contagious, welcoming, and impactful and, in some instances, has proven to be life-saving.

Speech Topics

“A Complete Life”

Colleen Coffey shares her story with audiences across the country, relating her earliest memories of anxiety at the age of three, through her teens, and into adulthood.

“Being Enough”

In this powerful program, Colleen Coffey shares her experience of surviving with mental illness as a platform to discuss what it means to live a complete and authentic life. This program teaches audiences about knowing yourself, loving others, and realizing that YOU are ENOUGH. Colleen shares powerful and specific tools for mindfulness, self-affirmation, listening openly, and loving oneself and others without judgment. This is a tremendous program for faculty/staff, student groups, non-profit or corporate retreats and team-building exercises. Audiences will walk away feeling more whole and more connected to each other. This program requires 2-4 hours.

Chapter Workshops

This 60 minute workshop offers students and faculty the opportunity to learn about and discuss how to start and grow an Active Minds chapter.

“My Sister, My Brother, My Keeper”

This interactive program is geared specifically towards fraternity and sorority chapters. Colleen shares her story and provides chapter leaders with the tools they need to create a stigma-free environment in their chapters. Through a variety of mechanisms, Colleen will consult with students about how to be open, honest and respectful in relationships with each other and within their organization. Colleen “gets Greek” really well and connects the values of each organization to mental wellness in a way that students have called “relevant,” “thought provoking” and “inspiring.”

Other options with Colleen

Colleen has passions and experiences far beyond the mental health platform. Ask about having her teach a Pilates class, facilitate a conversation on conflict resolution, speak as an advocate/ally for disenfranchised groups, or provide transformational information about organ donation to your students.

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