Press Kit

Note for Audio and Video Interviews:

May I ask you to send me a copy of the interview when we’re done? I’m happy to connect you with my Dropbox or Google Drive account so you can send the interview file at your convenience.

Thank you.

Click this link to download a PDF version of the Media Kit for Getting Happy: Getting Happy Book Media Kit  (Clicking the link opens a new browser tab. To save the file directly to your computer, please right-click the link and choose the “Save as” or “Save link as” option.)

Dear Media Professional,

Mental health is one of those taboo topics. You’d almost have to be crazy to talk about it openly, right?

So call me crazy, I can live with that. It’s better than some of the other things I’ve been called in public.

The Getting Happy series is a hand-up to people going through a tough spot in life. The Chicago Tribune calls it “Chicken Soup for the 21st century” because it mixes inspirational stories with proven, practical advice for – like the title says – getting happy.

Getting Happy…when you wish you were dead is the first book in the series. It has a personal focus on showing teens there are reasons to keep hoping. My mission is to “find teens who are as I once was, and keep them from walking the darker paths I have traveled.” There are lots of supporting stories from my life to show there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s possible to make big, ugly, “oh-crap-did-I-just-do-that” mistakes and still come out okay.

While doing research for Getting Happy…when you wish you were dead, I was astounded to find that under-developed countries have far better mental health recovery rates than we do. Our doctors call schizophrenia a disease and attack it with all their drugs and treatments. Yet countries such as Nigeria and Columbia have a 350% higher recovery rate for schizophrenia by relying on family and community rather than drugs and doctors.

The truly scary part of this is that the World Health Organisation documented these differences in 1973 – more than 40 years ago.

Unlike other books about mental health and suicide, Getting Happy…when you wish you were dead isn’t about a dramatic suicide attempt, and it isn’t written by a clinician. It’s written by someone who struggled with thoughts of suicide for more than 30 years, attempted suicide 32 times, and is now living an everyday life. Using my own experiences and results, I lay out a path anyone can follow toward getting happy.

There are also notes from a therapist and a doctor in the Teaching Guide (for leaders of book clubs, support groups, and classrooms) and the Study Guide (for everyone) that go with Getting Happy…when you wish you were dead. When help is needed, it’s up to you to coordinate the information your therapist and doctor have. The therapist helps you talk through issues, and the doctor looks after any medication you are using. So their notes highlight things you need to pay attention to for practical and health reasons.

Silver Linings Playbook (by Matthew Quick) has brought mental health onto the main stage with an Oscar winning performance. Getting Happy…when you wish you were dead is meant to keep it there, and get all of us talking about how to help ourselves. It’s times for us to take back our mental health care from the doctors and start getting the same results as Nigeria and Columbia.