Josh Rivedal

Josh Rivedal

Josh Rivedal uses the art of storytelling to talk about the important topics of mental health, suicide prevention, and diversity & inclusion.

Josh is no stranger to the struggles of battling mental illness. After losing both his father and grandfather to suicide, Josh realized he was following the same pattern. From his depression, up to the time he contemplated suicide, Josh knew it was time to get help. After experiencing the effects of mental illness, he’s ready to help student audiences overcome the stigma of mental health issues by becoming more supportive to those who are fighting their own battles.

How to Live Mentally Well and Crush it in College

In this 60 minute keynote, author and college mental health specialist, Josh Rivedal talks about his college days in a format that’s visceral and creates an emotional connection between students and the powerful message that it’s okay to talk about mental health and that it’s possible to live mentally well in college and beyond. Students will learn about what mental health is and is not, coping skills, how to reframe failure, and how to help oneself or a friend if in a mental health breakdown or suicidal crisis. Students will also be given a Mental Health First Aid Kit™ and will receive local and national resources for student mental health.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • about what mental health is and is not,
  • the importance of addressing one’s mental health while in college,
  • potential stressors and triggers for a mental health breakdown,
  • how to help themselves or a friend if having a mental health breakdown,
  • coping skills, and
  • campus, local, and national resources for help with mental health and mental illness

How Storytelling is College Suicide Prevention 2.0

In this 60-minute keynote, author Josh Rivedal gives an emotional retelling of his tempestuous childhood, an escape to New York City to become an actor, his father’s and grandfather’s suicides, his own suicidal crisis while in college and how he got help and lives mentally well and suicide-free. Josh will also discuss the art and science of storytelling, and how storytelling reduces stigma, and promotes positive mental health and prevents suicide. The session will end with a question and answer period between Josh and the audience.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to help themselves or a friend if in crisis or thinking about suicide,
  • the signs and symptoms of suicide,
  • how and where to get professional help if in suicidal crisis,
  • campus, local, and national resources of help if in crisis,
  • the art and science of storytelling,
  • the importance of telling one’s story, and
  • how storytelling reduces stigma around asking for and receiving help.

College Diversity in White Spaces

This keynote is based on the storytelling in Volume 1 of The i’Mpossible Project: Reengaging with Life, Creating a New You, the #1 release on Amazon in its category in January 2016. Included in this entertaining keynote/program are several stories from The i’Mpossible Project: Volume 1 and the original song, sung and played live: “I’m Just a Straight White Guy Singing About Diversity.” This program aims to support students through diversity education—in order to help students improve both academic and social engagement, to promote inclusion, and to create an environment where everyone matters and feels empowered to shape their landscape.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • the definition of diversity and inclusion,
  • the importance of diversity and inclusion on campus and beyond,
  • about services that highlight and support students who identify as LGBTQI+, international, multicultural, and/or disabled or differently abled,
  • the difference between and the importance of empathy and tolerance, and
  • how to identify and actualize practices that promote social justice and equity.

A Toolkit for College Mental Health

Changing Minds curriculum* combines lecture, storytelling, group discussion, and improv theater to enhance the emotional development of youth and students by providing hope, help, and saving lives. There are 5 different 45-60 minute modules that can be presented as a stand-alone keynote, or in a series, and can be facilitated by Joshua Rivedal or a trusted peer advocate or advisor. Modules include: (NOTE—Each of these modules can be pulled out as their own keynote, and I’m willing to create alt-titles as needed)

  • The Basics of Mental Health
  • Developing Coping Skills
  • Storytelling and Support Systems
  • Living with and Managing a Mental Health Condition
  • Helping Yourself or a Friend in Suicidal Crisis

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • the basics of mental health,
  • how to cope with and reframe “failure,”
  • the importance of support systems,
  • how to manage a mental illness or how to help a friend living with mental illness, and
  • how to help oneself or a friend if in a mental health crisis or suicidal crisis.

*Note: Each learning objective represents one 60-minute “module” or speaking engagement, with its own set of sub (learning) objectives. Due to the format of each module or engagement, Josh can be the facilitator or a student leader can be the facilitator

“Recently, one of my close friends opened up to me and admitted he was contemplating suicide. He’s talking with the counselors at the college, and he’s over the hump now. Anyway, he came to see your presentation, and it really spoke to him (this was before I knew). He told me that he talked to you a little after the show and that you even picked up on something that might be wrong. I wanted to let you know that I’m grateful for the work you do, and the message you send.”

– Anon, Confederation College, ONT, Canada

“You presented the topic in such a unique way, and the information was so important for students to learn. They all left with the tools they need to help a friend or help themselves should they ever find themselves in a dark place.”

– H. C., Furman University

“Your keynote was absolutely unbelievable and exactly what this campus needed. It was the perfect mixture of comedic relief with a serious tone that made the talk innovative and unforgettable.”

– L. P., Student Government, Wake Forest University

Josh’s Bio

Joshua Rivedal is the creator and founder of Changing Minds: A Mental Health Based Curriculum and The i’Mpossible Project. He has spoken about suicide prevention, mental health, diversity, anti-bullying, and storytelling across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia. He currently serves on the advisory board of Docz, a startup peer-to-peer mental health app. He wrote and developed the one-man play, Kicking My Blue Genes in The Butt (KMBB), which has toured extensively throughout the world. His memoir The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah, based on KMBB, is on The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s recommended reading list. His second book, The i’Mpossible Project: Volume 1—Reengaging with Life, Creating a New You, debuted #1 in its category on Amazon in January 2016. A second volume of The i’Mpossible Project—Changing Minds, Breaking Stigma, Achieving the Impossible is set for release in November 2017. He is trained in human capital management with an emphasis in coaching from NYU and is also trained in QPR, ASIST, and the teacher’s edition of emotional intelligence at Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, children, and lots of small animals.


Promotional Resources


A unique approach to Suicide Prevention & Advocacy - #Podcast with @JoshuaRivedal #MentalHealth #SuicidePrevention - Reaching out with education and hope before a crisis.

Tina Perkins shares her incredible journey on the i’Mpossible Project #podcast #domesticviolence #survivor #selflove

Adam McNeill shares his incredible journey on the i’Mpossible Project #podcast #mentalhealth!

Haven't registered for #BeyondTheBasics2018 yet?! It's not too late! Come hear Keynote @JoshuaRivedal and participate in a wide array of breakout sessions! Visit for more information and to register today. #maine #mentalhealth #mainementalhealth #namimaine

Free tomorrow night? Visit W10 PBB at 6:30PM for @JoshuaRivedal and the I'Mpossible Project hosted by @UIActiveMinds, @uiowaCounseling, @IowaFSL , and @uisg! Free and open to the public! #MentalHealthAwareness #SuicidePrevention

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