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Behind Happy Faces; Taking Charge of Your Mental Health

  • Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Location: Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall

"Behind Happy Faces", Ross Szabo, will be talking about mental health, sponsored by Counseling Service & SAC Leadership. This is presentation is free for everyone.

I believe in doing everything possible to help others share their stories in the hopes of achieving mental health. I was the Director of Outreach for the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign from 2002-2010. I had the opportunity to make challenging mental health messages relevant to large audiences. During my time with NMHAC I worked with some of the top mental health professionals in the country to create the first ever youth mental health speakers’ bureau, develop an effective high school program to increase help seeking behavior and presented a positive mental health message to over 1 million people.

My passion for mental health comes from personal experience. I visited my oldest brother in the psychiatric ward of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital when I was 11. At age 16, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with anger control problems and psychotic features. In my senior year of high school I was hospitalized for attempting to take my own life and later that year had to take a leave of absence from American University due to a relapse with bipolar disorder. I returned to American 4 years later and graduated with a B.A. in psychology. I started speaking about my story with bipolar disorder to help others think about their lives when I was 17.

Sharing my story has helped me achieve mental health.

I served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Botswana from 2010 to 2012. When I got home from the Peace Corps I saw that there were a lot of gaps preventing people from getting the vital mental health messages they need. I started this company to address those needs.

I offer consulting for preventative mental health awareness programs and successful models to respond to crises in high schools, fraternities and sororities. I have developed a freshman orientation program for colleges/universities. I have 2 keynote presentations. Behind Happy Faces reduces reduce stigma, empowers others to seek help and educates people about mental health. Mixed Drinks, Mixed Emotions focuses on the main reasons people cope with substances, and examines the ties between substance abuse and mental health.

Thanks for checking out this website to learn more about my company and me.  For more information on Ross Szabo, please see his formal bio here.


Questions? Contact Mary A. Weis, Counseling Service & SAC Leadership, 563-387-1023