As a seasoned youth worker, Mark has been sharing his lived experience with suicide and mental illness since 2013, most often in schools, youth groups, and conference workshops. Mark has a compelling way of combining personal story with practical teaching that not only engages audiences, but leaves them feeling more hopeful and better equipped.
For several years, Mark was an ASIST course instructor for Youth Unlimited, certifying their staff in suicide intervention.
Mark continues to be passionate about equipping regular people to have conversations about mental health and suicide, including teenagers. As part of this, Mark is a vetted community speaker by the Waterloo Region District School Board.
Mark is also our primary workshop speaker and teacher, overseeing Hashtag Hope's focus on advocacy through education and resources.
With over 170 bookings under his belt, Mark is always excited for more opportunities to talk about hope, and is looking to increase his bookings for school assemblies and volunteer development.
Workshops & Trainings
Suicide Intervention Courses
Talks, Trainings & Appearances
Personal Lived Experience Story & Advocacy
Both Nick and Mark live with mental illness and have personal experiences with suicide. We seek to share hope in an honest yet helpful way, to reduce stigma, encourage perseverance, and normalize the need we all have for both personal and professional support when we face darkness. No matter the group or the time frame, both our speakers can tailor a lived-experience talk about hope to your needs.
Mark has been speaking in school classrooms and gyms since 2015 with over 70 bookings, and is on the list of approved mental health speakers for the Waterloo Region District School Board. Mark safely uses personal story and simple, practical suggestions to engage students on issues of mental health, depression, anxiety, and suicide. While most students aren't in crisis, most have a friend or family member that do. Mark breaks down how to help a friend in crisis into easy, memorable tools. An assembly booking with Mark also includes a commitment to stay after the assembly to speak to students and work with your school's guidance and counselling staff to connect students in crisis to help.
Crash Course In Mental Health & Suicide Prevention
What do you do when you suspect someone is suicidal? How do you help someone who's depressed or experiencing a panic attack? When is the right time to call 911? This 2-3 hour introductory course, taught by Mark (a former ASIST trainer with over 10 years of youth work experience) will address these questions and give you a basic framework for dealing with a person at risk of suicide. This introductory workshop/course is ideal for volunteers, community members, and those who are not primary caregivers.
Post-Suicide Leaders & Volunteers Debriefing
If you've experienced a suicide in your community and some support processing the event or being equipped to help those who may also be at risk, we can host a debriefing conversation. When someone close to us dies by suicide, it often brings up many difficult questions and emotions. This time will allow space for your group to ask questions, learn, and find comfort in not being alone. This can also be lead from a Christian faith perspective, as well as secular. Note: This is not intended to take the place of qualified grief counselling.
Pop-Up Booth & Store
Looking to have a mental health and suicide prevention presence at your event? We would love to set up a booth or table and be a hopeful presence at your event. Whether it's handing out resources and doing advocacy, or if you'd like a full merchandise pop-up store, we will work with you to find the most appropriate fit for your event.