International Mental Health Conference
Crayon Etching
School District Training
International Together Agains Stigma Conference, 2015
Mariel Hemmingway

Since age 19, Amanda has given over 150 speeches around the country regarding mental and behavioral health. Her messages come from a place of passion from experiencing psychiatric hospitalization her freshman year of college, to consulting professionally in mental health care and serving on national boards.

Amanda empowers individuals and raises awareness through a lens of identity and cultural-engagement. She challenges individuals to tap into their own 'mental identities', and for organizations to leverage the diversity of their constituents as opportunities to learn, diversify, and grow.  Her messages intersect with her passion for film and the fine-arts, tapping into creativity as mechanisms to support individuals and communities.

"Embracing the diversity of how we each perceive, and express our experiences, translates to world-views from which we can all learn, engage, and collaborate with one another." -Amanda

Amanda is the youngest state board member of the nations largest mental health non-profit, the CA National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and serves on two national youth advisory councils, the National Psychosis Prevention Council (NPPC), and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Check out Amanda's story here

Main Speaking Messages:

Inside-Out: Adversity to Resiliency

Psychiatric hospitalization taught Amanda an important lesson: we all have a story. She learned that crayons were allowed in the hospital, so a nurse brought her a box. Amanda began visually un-layering her story, one layer of wax at a time, challenging her creativity to translate her past and reconstruct her identity. She left feeling not ill and recovered, but empowered and resilient.

Building Self: Foundation to Vision

Mental health is both a science and an art. To effectively engage and find wellness, we must first build a foundation: understand the person in front of us through their lens. What is their language, and how do they perceive their experiences? Then the process of translation can begin between ‘provider(s)’ and ‘patient’, an interplay of perceptions and translations with the intent to optimize wellness & potential

"I have learned that individuals' stories are the starting point; it's the art of translation between unique experiences and perspectives that draws empathy and ignites action." - Amanda

Other Speaking Points:

Creativity: Leveraging Mediums to Express, Educate, & Empathize
Social Inclusion: Norms and Adaptation
Engagement: Person-first and Bidirectional Support
Systems: Organizational Leadership, Strategy, and Collaboration 

Where does Amanda Speak?

High Schools and Colleges 
Radio, News, Television

Past Speaking Events:

- 7th Int'l "Together Against Stigma" Conference, San Francisco, 2015 - Plenary Panel
- UC Davis Public Health Forum, Davis, 2015 - Panel
- Mental Health Matters Day Event, Sacramento Capital, 2015 - Emcee
- "Stronger Together" Higher Education Conference, Los Angeles, 2014 - Workshop
- UC Davis "Each Aggie Matters Campaign", Davis, 2014 - Keynote
- "Art With Impact Event", UC Davis, 2014 - Panel
- NAMI Orange County Luncheon Fundraiser, Orange County, 2013 - Keynote
- NAMI Sacramento Annual "Harvesting Hope" Fundraiser, Sacramento, 2013 - Keynote
- "Tools for Change" Mental Health Assoc. of SF Conference, San Francisco, 2012 - Workshop



Media Engagements:

Mental Health Story News 10


  • Featured in News 10 segment, "Campus Breakdown" with Cristina Mendonsa
Sac Bee News and Review Mental Health Story


  • Sacramento Bee News & Review Insert - Mental Health Care, 2013


  • Sacramento Bee "Sacramento Area Colleges Reach Out on Mental Health", 2014: 


  • "Free Your Mind Project" Radio Interview about Mental Health with Jennifer Whitney


  • Radio Public Service Announcement for Mental Health Mattters Campaign, 2013
  • Radio Public Service Announcement for k-12 mental health program , 2013