Speaking of mental health...
Nic's presentations are an off-the-cuff narrative of what the mental health journey has been for him, his friends, and his family. It's unscripted and deeply personal.
"I think there can be something really powerful about learning through the experiences of someone else."
Through honest story-telling, Nic connects with audiences by revisiting his struggle from ambitious 13 year old scholarship student one year, to psychiatric ward patient the next. It's an immersive experience of what mental illness really looks like on the inside spoken by someone who knew nothing about it until it was too late. Nic's talks follow the highs and lows of mood disorders, the challenges of being diagnosed, his temporary efforts to 'be normal', and of course keeping it all a secret.
After a lifetime of battling with mental illnesses and losing his brother to suicide, he has come through the other side not held back by his past.
Throughout the retelling of his story Nic often explores ideas surrounding diagnosis, seeking support, navigating the treatment maze, supporting loved ones, surviving suicide, recovery and thriving, and trying to be a 'normal' person in a school or workplace.
"I learned so much more about mental health through conversations with fellow students and patients in wards than I ever did in a classroom. After I dropped out of school I realized that mental health education often lacked the most important side to it – the human side. That's what I want to change."
No two talks are ever the same. Being unscripted and raw allows Nic a freedom to further explore topics of particular interest to an audience. People often find the most engaging parts of his talks to be the Q&A sessions.
Nic's goal in speaking about his personal experience is to reduce mental health stigma and to lower the barriers of seeking help by encouraging helpful ongoing conversations. He looks forward to a time when mental illness is completely acceptable to talk about. His solution is simply to start the conversation.