Ross Szabo

A Humorous & Evidence-Based Approach to Mental Health

  • Topics:
  • Health & Wellness
  • Mental Health
  • Professional Development
  • Audiences:
  • Grade 6-12 Students
  • College Students
  • Teachers & Staff
  • Fundraisers

Fee: $10K-15K

Invite Ross

Wellness Director; Geffen Academy at UCLA
Erasing the Stigma Leadership Winner
Author of “A Kids Book About Anxiety”

From the outside, Ross Szabo seemed to have a perfect life. He was successful, well-liked, and a leader in his community. Underneath his easy-going appearance, he was hiding an immense amount of pain.

Ross’s presentation traces how mental health disorders and trauma can impact a person from a young age and the consequences those issues have throughout every phase of life. He talks about being born into a family with a history of mental health disorders/addiction, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 16, and attempting to take his own life in his senior year of high school.

Ross’s struggles continued into his 20s, and the damage experienced during that time is something he is still processing today. During his most difficult times, he tried to hide his feelings to convince everyone that everything was ok, but that can only last for so long. Ross’s story resonates with the millions of people who are putting on “a happy face” to hide their true emotions.

Ross uses tasteful humor and insights to help participants understand common mental health conditions and individual differences. He also covers warning signs that students can look for in their friends and peers, as well as resources that can provide guidance in these sensitive situations.

Ross is an award-winning mental health speaker, writer, trainer, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. Ross has spoken to more than two million individuals about the importance of mental health and provided a positive example to empower them to seek help. He received the Didi Hirsch Erasing the Stigma Leadership Award, the Changing Minds Award and had his advocacy work entered into the Congressional Record. His curriculum received the Excellence in Education Award.


“This was one of the most impactful programs we have brought over the years. His balance of humor and seriousness was really great. He had our audience laughing and connecting with him, but when he was talking about serious things, you could hear a pin drop in that room. It was pretty incredible. ”
—Drexel University
“The program had a profound impact on the students and staff that attended. Issues surrounding Mental Health are everywhere on campus. It was great to try and bring those out into the open and have students learn to support each other…Ross has a way of speaking to you that makes you feel comfortable immediately…He was wonderful to work with- very friendly, outgoing, funny and kind. ”
—Allegheny College
“You talk about someone who is in the trenches and knows what’s going on with youth mental health; Ross Szabo is the man. What he is doing at his school should be a model for the rest of the country.”
—Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D., aka Dr. Phil

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