My Story

Growing up, I had no idea what mental health was. I grew up in a Christian family and Jamaican-American household with not one but two Jamaican parents. In my house, we didn’t talk about our feelings. To me, mental health meant you were crazy, and as a man, I was raised to be the protector, the provider, and the priest.I wasn't taught to be vulnerable and I learned early on to suppress my emotions. In 2014 I left home to be the first in my family to attend college. I was excited to go to college, but as a first-generation college student, I dealt with a lot of challenges.I worked to provide for myself financially, I was a full-time student and I felt the daily pressure of succeeding at a high level to prove to my family, myself, and my 2 haters that I could be successful.In my second semester, everything went downhill. I became overwhelmed with stress and the pressure I put on myself to be perfect. I remember not being able to physically get out of bed. I was missing classes, missing work, and I lost all motivation.One weekend while in my apartment, I got a phone call that changed my life. My best friend saw that I was struggling and withdrawing so she decided to reach out and check in. That conversation was the first time I had ever been honest, open, and transparent with someone. Speaking with my friend helped me realize that it was okay to struggle, and I didn’t have to be ashamed about it. She even told me about the counseling center on campus. After speaking with a professional, I was able to identify a name for what I was experiencing, which was depression. That awareness led me to develop a passion for speaking up about mental health.Today, I speak with audiences across the country, sharing my story so others will see there is hope, there is help, and we don’t have to suffer in silence. My passion for mental health comes from my battle with depression during college.I am the founder of Speaks 2 Inspire, a bestselling author, podcaster, advocate, and Active Minds speaker on a mission to eradicate mental health stigma. I have a degree in Psychology. I am blessed to collaborate with organizations including, BetterHelp, MTV, Mental Health America, Silence The Shame, and NAMI to create safe spaces for honest conversations about mental health and illness. I mostly work with higher education leaders and school professionals to support young adult mental health and wellbeing.​If you're interested in creating safe spaces for young adults, I would love to collaborate with you!