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Dennis Gillan

Dennis takes on the stigma surrounding mental health as he expertly shares how he navigated through the deaths of not one, but two brothers to suicide.

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Dennis Gillan is on a mission to reverse the current trends in completed suicides and to seriously reduce the stigma associated with getting help for one’s mental health. Dennis lost two 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 the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and is on the board of the local state chapter. In this capacity he gets to lobby lawmakers for additional funding for suicide prevention and raise funds and awareness to help combat the rise in completed suicides.

Dennis has a gift for telling his personal story of how he recovered from the loss of his two brothers and what he has learned along the way and the audience really responds!

Fun fact—you will laugh during this presentation.  hard to believe, but it is totally appropriate and helps the message land.  What is the message?  Live is worth living and it is totally ok to not be ok!!

Dennis Gillan's Programs


Format: ​45-60 minute Keynote
min 30min
max 90min
In this talk, Dennis takes your audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as he explains how he recovered from the suicide deaths of both of his brothers. Following the latest guidelines on speaking about
suicide and suicide prevention, Dennis will discuss the warning signs of mental distress, the benefits of therapy, and how he found peace in sobriety. Dennis has a unique presentation style and will use humor to help this message land. In the end, the message is real and relatable for all who attend.This program is perfect for:

  • ​The CEO to the Intern….everyone has mental health.  Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad, just like our physical health.
  • EAP—Employee Assistance Program gets a plug in this talk.
  • Company Town Hall Meetings
  • HR Presentations
  • Companies that truly care about their employees.

The audience will leave with:

  • ​Knowing that mental health is just as important as physical health.
  • How to recognize when a co-worker may be hurting.
  • The importance of self care.
  • The knowledge that this organization really cares about their employees.
  • Resources—-what is available to the employee, their families, and their co-workers.

This is a tough topic, and nobody handles it better.  The audience is wiping tears from their eyes one minute and laughing out loud the next. And I always leave time for hugs at the end, because we all need them.


Format: ​90 minute workshop covering three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide.

This program is perfect for:

  • ​Anyone who works with other humans.

Dennis is certified to provide this training from the QPR Institute. The QPR mission is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing
innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. The signs of crisis are all around us. We believe that quality education empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught Gatekeeper training in the world.

The audience will leave with:

  • How to Question, Persuade and Refer someone who may be suicidal
  • How to get help for yourself or learn more about preventing suicide
  • The common causes of suicidal behavior
  • The warning signs of suicide
  • How to get help for someone in crisis

​2,500,000 folks are trained on this program worldwide—-are you one of them?


Participants consider both sides of the mental illness equation – those who have the condition, and those around them. In this session, Dennis sets up practical sessions where coming out is practiced and the proper response is rehearsed. Both sides will walk away with the understanding that there is no stigma necessary when it comes to mental health.

Dennis Gillan's Books