Dennis Gillan is a national thought leader on the topic of suicide prevention and mental health advocacy. He travels internationally speaking, raising awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
Dennis has been deeply touched by suicide after the loss of both of his brothers to suicide, eleven years apart. After years of sitting on the sidelines, he jumped into helping those in need by working on the suicide prevention hotline when he lived in Chicago. After moving to South Carolina, Dennis got involved with several non-profits that take on mental health issues, and this allows him to lobby lawmakers and raise awareness by sharing his story. Dennis gave a TEDx talk about loneliness that has received over 25,000 views! Dennis also co-wrote a children's book about dealing with sadness and showing children how kindness can save a life.
Dennis is the executive director of a non-profit called the Half a Sorrow Foundation. The name of the foundation comes from an old Swedish proverb that states: a shared joy is a double joy; a shared sorrow is half a sorrow. The mission of the Half a Sorrow Foundation is to improve mental health by promoting real conversations. Dennis’s keynote talk definitely promotes real conversations, and his style and delivery are like nothing else out there. He combines his losses with real-world solutions and even sprinkles in humor from time to time to disarm the audience and let the message land, and that message is that life is worth living! You can find out more here: www.halfasorrow.org