There are roughly 8 million people in the United States with Post-Traumatic Stress (National Center for PTSD). PTS manifests itself by causing its sufferers to relive life-threatening events or trauma, deeply impacting their mental health. PTS has been found to disproportionately affect veterans and service members, but traumatic events such as physical injury, sexual assault, or natural disasters can deeply affect anyone. Often those suffering do not get the help they need, so awareness of treatment options is key for survivors to lead a better life.
June is PTS Awareness Month. Anyone can undergo PTS at any age, bringing awareness to the effects of this mental health problem can make a huge difference. Speakers on Post-Traumatic Stress include veterans, mental health advocates, and medical experts who educate, inspire, and raise awareness about treatment options and resources. Whether you are struggling with PTS yourself, or simply want to be a better ally for those struggling, these speakers will give you the information you need to make a difference.
Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor & Founder of Rebekah’s Angels
Rebekah Gregory is a nationally recognized public speaker & author whose life was forever changed due to the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. This act of terrorism may have claimed her leg, but it could not claim her spirit. Since then, Gregory has become a force to be reckoned with. Her notorious Boston Marathon finish has been viewed over 11 million times and her viral letter to the bomber captured attention from all over the world. Gregory has inspired audiences across the spectrum including the Ambassador of the Holy See in Rome, Italy, the United Nations, Asics, ESPN Women’s, and hundreds more. Gregory has been featured in 500+ media outlets including blogging for People Magazine and Runners World.
In 2017, Gregory had her first book “Taking My Life Back” published. She also founded Rebekah’s Angels, a foundation that provides mental health treatment to children and families suffering from trauma.
U.S. Army Combat Veteran, Mental Health & Holistic Healing Advocate; Featured in the Award-Winning Documentary “Almost Sunrise”
Tom Voss served on active duty in the United States Army for three years, from 2003 to 2006. He served with the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, an element of the 1st Brigade 25th Infantry Division, one of the Army’s first Stryker Infantry Brigades. He served as an infantry scout in the battalion scout-sniper platoon. In October of 2004, after 20 months of training with his unit, Voss was deployed to Mosul, Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in Iraq, Voss proudly participated in hundreds of combat missions, convoys, security patrols, raids, area clearance operations, and humanitarian relief operations, including providing security for the first democratic elections in Iraq since the invasion. Voss separated from the Army in 2006 with an honorable discharge.
After returning home, Voss struggled with reintegration into society and was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress in 2008. After being pushed to the brink of suicide, Voss knew he had to do something to help himself heal. In 2013, he teamed up with fellow combat veteran Anthony Anderson to plan and execute a 2,700-mile trek from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Los Angeles, California. This journey was captured on film by Emmy®-nominated documentary filmmaker, Michael Collins. The film, Almost Sunrise, was broadcast nationally as part of the P.O.V. documentary series on PBS, resulting in an Emmy nomination. Voss is also the co-author of the memoir, “Where War Ends: A Combat Veteran’s 2,700-Mile Journey to Heal ― Recovering from PTS and Moral Injury through Meditation,” published in 2019.
Executive Coach, Entrepreneur, Visual Artist & Burn Survivor; Top Speaker on Resilience, Change & Overcoming Adversity
Voted one of the Top Ten best motivational speakers in North America by Meetings and Conventions Magazine, Allison Massari’s quintessential story of courage and perseverance resonates with participants long after an event has finished. Hailed as “life-changing,” “riveting,” “extraordinary,” “bold,” and “deeply moving,” Massari instills the essential tools to quickly access grace and resilience in the face of challenges. She found remarkable success, happiness, and an undeniable “fire” within after overcoming two horrific car accidents that nearly took her life. In one, she was hit at 60 mph, burned alive, conscious the entire time, and sustained severe burns on over 50% of her body.
Massari collectively spent hundreds of days in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and physical therapy centers, and learned to navigate her way to true healing, eventually creating an extraordinary life beyond anything she had dreamed possible. Amazingly, she views her experiences as a tremendous gift, one that gave her the tools and understanding to share with others. Her breathtaking keynote blends powerful life lessons with compelling, insightful, and awe-inspiring stories, and offers actionable takeaways for people who suffer from PTS to immediately transform and manage their lives. “The truth is, the same internal fire and ‘command of self’ that I needed to heal my life is exactly what has given me success professionally.”
Through her unified work as an international keynote speaker, executive coach, and acclaimed visual artist, Massari provides an exceptional blend of business acuity, creative perspective, and genuine care – profoundly affecting audiences worldwide. A diversified entrepreneur, Massari has built four enterprising businesses in the past 25 years. In addition to her success as a professional speaker and executive coach, her thriving fine arts business, Massari Fine Arts, LLC, has received commissions from prominent Fortune 500 companies, including General Mills, Lockheed Martin, and US Airways. Her sublime and dynamic visual art serves as a stunning backdrop to her inspiring keynotes.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Dr. Laura Streyffeler is a licensed clinical professional who has been working with victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, and other types of violence for more than 20 years. In addition, Streyffeler is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress and Diplomate of the National Center for Crisis Management. Streyffeler is listed in The National Registry of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. She is a Member of the Premier Speakers Bureau for the National Center for Crisis Management. In addition, she is credentialed as an expert in domestic violence, both intimate partner violence and family violence, and forensic counseling by the American Academy of Forensic Counselors.
Streyffeler has provided expert consultation and witness testimony for victims in both family, civil and criminal court cases. Streyffeler is also a State of Florida Certified Clinical Supervisor. In addition to her work with victims, she created and facilitated a juvenile domestic violence diversion program for teens arrested for domestic violence and their families. Streyffeler has provided training for other clinical professionals, attorneys and judges, medical professionals, law enforcement, educators, Guardian ad Litem staff and volunteers, conferences, and more. Most recently she has authored the book “Wife Beater Shirt Optional: There is no dress code for domestic violence.”
Speaker, Writer, Leadership Coach & CEO of Herrscher Consulting
Jorey Herrscher has been a speaker and trainer for nearly 20 years. He is a Texas attorney, Texas peace officer, writer, speaker, consultant, and CEO of The Unbroken Project, a non-profit educating and benefiting first responders and military suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress. Herrscher is the President and CEO of The Unbroken Project, a division of The Herrscher Foundation. The Unbroken Project seeks to better the lives of military, first responders, and foster children by offering training and other opportunities that might not otherwise be available. Herrscher previously served as General Counsel and Defense Counsel to Harris County’s Elected and Appointed Leadership. He advised clients during several change management events.
PTS Advocate & Founder of the “Don’t ask. Don’t send” Campaign
Martina McCullough is a Post-Traumatic Stresd survivor and founder of the “Don’t ask. Don’t send.” campaign to end online sexual harassment. Her life’s purpose is to inspire survivors of abuse by sharing her personal experiences and understanding. She regularly encourages others struggling with suicide ideation to stay strong and credits her past experiences with gaining her empathic nature.
McCullough was born into a large multi-generational household in London, England. As a child, she endured sexual and physical abuse. As a teen, she was sexually assaulted repeatedly and coerced into joining a violent cult. A relationship with a narcissistic partner followed. She has found peace, self-love, and healing, while working to make sexual harassment illegal – both in public and online – in order to make the world safer for all women, particularly those dealing with anxiety.
CEO, Founder of Inspired Performance Institute
Dr. Don Wood developed the Inspired Performance Institute after spending years researching how trauma affects our minds and our lives. Dr. Wood began to understand that events and experiences throughout our lifetime continue to play a role in how we experience life in the present. He also realized that there was a better way of treating the issue. “Teaching people to live with, manage, and cope with the daily stress doesn’t fix the problem. The solution comes from understanding its source and providing a long-term permanent solution”.
Since 2015, the Inspired Performance Institute has worked to create innovative strategies to help people heal from the limiting effects of trauma, so they can feel and perform at their best. The result has been the development of a revolutionary approach to performance improvement referred to as TIPP (The Inspired Performance Program). TIPP is based on the idea that our minds have developed some glitches and error messages in the ways they store information about events from our past.
Actor, Amputee, Addiction, & Mental Health Advocate
John Mabry was a senior at Baylor University in Texas and starting a promising career in the performing arts when he was traveling on a highway near Houston. A tire blowout sent his car rolling more than 10 times, killing one of Mabry’s close friends and crushing both of Mabry’s legs. His right leg was eventually amputated below the knee as a result of the injuries and fitted with a prosthesis. Mabry struggled with addiction, depression, and post-traumatic stress for more than a decade following the accident. During that period, he moved to San Diego to work on a master’s degree but found himself isolated from friends and family.
Mabry moved on to find success in Hollywood, working as an actor and stuntman. He appeared in popular American TV series like “NCIS,” “ER” and “Cold Case,” as well as in a number of movies, including Superbad and Sublime. Sometimes he portrayed characters who were amputees, other times he worked as an amputee body and stunt double for actors. He also served as a technical advisor for shows that involved amputee characters.
On a personal level, however, his situation worsened when he found his brother dead from an accidental overdose in his Beverly Hills home. Despondent in the aftermath of that tragedy, Mabry had difficulty keeping work and was fired from a job with noted radio and TV personal-finance guru Dave Ramsey as a result of his addictions. Approaching bottom, Mabry finally sought the help he needed.
Mabry spent the next several years in seven different rehabilitation programs and eventually tamed his powerful addictions. Today, Mabry serves as an advocate for addiction recovery, mental health and wellness with his primary focus of educating audiences on the REAL cause of addiction (and it’s not what you think), as well as how to talk about addiction with a loved one.
Psychiatrist Studying Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Developer of the Complex PTS (C-PTS) Diagnosis
Judith Lewis Herman was born in 1942 in New York City. She attended Radcliffe College as an undergraduate and received her MD from Harvard University in 1968. She completed her residency in psychiatry at the Boston University Medical Center. She has been a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University since 1981 and has worked as psychiatric director at the Women’s Mental Health Collective in Somerville Massachusetts since 1973.
Herman has spent the majority of her career addressing issues arising from post-traumatic stress and incest. On the topic of incest, Herman wrote “Father-Daughter Incest” in collaboration with Lisa Hirschman in 1981. Herman also wrote “Trauma and Recovery” in 1992. She has received awards for her work, including the American Medical Women’s Association award and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, the American Psychiatric Association bestowed the title of Distinguished Fellow upon Herman in 2003.
Herman’s best-known contribution to the field is her development of the diagnosis of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. Herman found that victims of prolonged or multiple traumas frequently developed symptoms that were markedly different from those associated with traditional PTS.
Former U.S. Marine, PTS Activist, Founder of Everon LLC
A tragic jet crash while serving as a US Marine followed by a whole host of complications and medical conditions descended Silouan Green into the hell of post-traumatic stress , depression, suicidal impulses, long-term pain, and a completely shattered life. It was here, staring into the abyss, that he was given a choice; to continue down the same devastating path, or live free. He chose to live free.
Green began his new journey by buying a motorcycle and guitar after selling everything else he owned. As he learned to play the guitar and write songs, he became more adept at riding the motorcycle. On the day he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps due to his disability, he took off on an epic two-year trek. Green rode for over 30,000 miles, met his wife, and packed a lifetime of adventure into just 24 months. He has since traveled over half a million miles in the last decade, helping thousands of people begin their own amazing journey, even when they were living in the darkest of places. Whether through his speaking, music, books, or workshops, Green’s message is a flaming arrow of hope, direction, and practical advice.
Inspired by his own journey, Green created The Ladder UPP life skills program, focused on helping people build their lives the way it was intended, on a foundation of meaning and purpose. The program has helped give people around the world hope and a plan to truly make the most of life’s trials and transitions. With The Ladder UPP, Green has worked at Walter Reed, with the U.S. Marines, the Army, the National Guard, Willow Creek Community Church, and various other groups, organizations, and mental health professionals. Green also speaks to police and other first responders around the country as a national lecturer for the Public Agency Training Council, the United States’ #1 public training agency.
Amanda Ann Gregory is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor experienced in working with adults, children and adolescents, families, and couples. Her areas of specialization include attachment/relationship issues, trauma, anxiety, depression, parenting, sibling relationships, stress management, low self-esteem, and life transitions. Incorporating interventions from person-centered, solution-focused, and cognitive behavioral therapy, Gregory is able to meet the unique needs of each of her clients. In addition, she is an EMDR Certified Therapist. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is effective in treating anxiety, as well as single event and developmental trauma. Gregory provides a safe, empathetic, nonjudgmental relationship to empower clients in their healing and growth.
As a Missouri native, she earned her master’s degree from The University of Missouri and completed her undergraduate degree at Northwest Missouri State University. She received clinical training in a variety of settings, which include a specialized residential treatment center, outpatient, and community mental health centers. Gregory is also an author whose work has appeared in Addiction Professional, Holistic Parenting Magazine, and Adoption Today.
These PTS survivors and mental health advocates are here to tell their own personal stories while also offering valuable information on how to help care for those who are suffering with mental health issues related to trauma. Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Month in June is a prime time to educate your audience on the effects of PTS as well as how to attend to one’s mental health and traumas, regardless of the cause. In a year where improving mental health is a goal for many, now is a perfect time to inspire healing and recovery with one of these talented experts in the field.