Noted Mental Health Speaker is Part of Major Community Event

July 22nd, 2015 — New York City, New York — Community Conversations on Overcoming Stress in NYC is an event featuring several people within the mental health industry to discuss the challenges that many people in the community are struggling with.

“Stress and mental health are a major burden on the people of New York City,” said Mike Veny, the founder of TransformingStigma.Com and one of the keynote speakers of the event. Veny is an accomplished drummer, speaker and mental health stigma expert. He has spoken around the country on various issues relating to mental health. His biggest and most requested presentation is titled, Transforming Stigma into Strength.

Veny is fast to admit the stigma is very real, and he points to a particular case to demonstrate that stigma.

“Every single day,” Veny continued, “I deal with the physical and emotional pain that comes from depression, anger, and anxiety.”

Veny has spent the past few years spreading awareness about mental health, the dangers of stigmatizing people and the ways loved ones of those living with mental health challenges can help out. In every aspect of his work, he injects his personality and stories to relate to those around him.

Veny started Transforming Stigma as a way to give people struggling with mental health challenges a better sense of hope. The more people he meets, the more he learns about how much of a problem the stigma surrounding mental health is. He lives in New York City and is excited to be a part of the Community Conversations on Overcoming Stress in NYC.

The event will involve several members of the community, clergy and medical fields. Dr. Sidney Hankerson, M.D., is the visionary behind this event. Dr. Hankerson is a psychiatrist with Columbia Medical Center and the current president of the The Black Psychiatrists of Greater New York and Associates. He has specific interests in providing mental health treatment and support to the African American community. To that end, he works with various civic,religious and other African American groups to promote and educate on mental health.

“I’m grateful to know Dr. Hankerson. As I’ve learned more and more about his vision, I think this event will be a great resource for so many people here in New York City. Whether it’s mild stress or complex mental health challenges, he is helping people get the help that they need. I’m honored to be a part of this” Veny added.

Someone who is a very important member of the community, First Lady Chirlane McCray will be attending.

Chirlane McCray

Following the press conference where the First Lady promised tens of millions of dollars to mental health initiatives, she has agreed to attend this noteworthy event and share some of her own goals for mental health education. All three of the speakers in attendance have personal ties to mental health issues and the stigma attached to the issues.

“I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals and special education programs as a youth,”said Veny, “Dr. Hankerson learned much about mental health in Grady Hospital of Atlanta, Ga., and the First Lady’s family has a history of mental health related issues. This will offer a variety of perspectives for the attendees.”

The two hour event will be at St. Charles Borromeo Church, Resurrection Chapel, on Thursday July 23rd, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be resources and refreshments available for the attendees. To RSVP or get additional information, call 1–888–902–3011 Ext. 5190 or visit