“For a long time . . . I was living two totally different lives, where one person was always afraid of the other. I was afraid that people would see me for who I really was . . . that beneath my smile, there was struggle, and beneath my light, there was dark, and beneath my big personality just hid even bigger pain.”
At 19, Kevin Breel is a successful writer and stand-up comedian. He’s also a mental health activist.
Breel struggled with depression in high school, experiencing both the illness and the stigma of silence and disapproval that the disease carries. He buried his depression under a gloss of activities and success, yet every day thought about taking what seemed the only way out for him: suicide.
He came close to that decision, but he ultimately didn’t take it. His survival led him to realize he could use the perspective, hope, and faith his pain gave him to fight back against the ignorance and intolerance of others, which can plague persons with mental illness.
Today, Breel talks to thousands of youth across North America. In this TEDX talk, he shares his personal experiences with depression, the life lessons he’s learned, and his thoughts about what we all can do to help eliminate the stigma that keeps this disease in the shadows.
Find out more about Kevin on his website
. You can also read more about removing the stigma of mental health disorders