Mental Health Advocacy

with Amy K. Waddle, motivational speaker.

About Amy K. Waddle

Amy Waddle is a former pre-professional classical ballet dancer and eating disorder survivor. Her lifelong battle with bipolar two disorder and triumph over suicide inspired her advocacy work. She is an award-winning eating disorder recovery advocate, and speaker, member of the Suicide Prevention Council of San Luis Obispo, certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer, Q.P.R. for suicide prevention trainer, and speaker for the Stamp Out Stigma Speakers Bureau. She created a high school mental health curriculum called New Perspectives with local nonprofit Transitions Mental Health Association and had presented it to over 1,000 students in San Luis Obispo County. Amy also has her own nonprofit for the dance community called Dancing With ED, Inc. which she founded in 2012. Her latest project is her memoir which she hopes will be a testimony to God’s work in her life. She lives with her husband and daughter on the Central Coast of California.

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Mental Health Education does not have to be boring! Amy’s YMHFA and QPR training is hands-on, interactive, and full of personal examples from her own life with mental illness. See mental health from a new perspective! Amy does suicide prevention training for staff and teachers K-12, as well as certifying young adults in QPR. She also offers training to community organizations and youth programs.

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Amy is a powerful, passionate keynote speaker. She eloquently shares her journey through 18 years of bulimia, two decades of undiagnosed bipolar II disorder, self-harm, and gives insight into how she conquered it all with determination, perseverance and a kick-ass treatment team! All people can relate to her story of broken dreams, loss, feelings of worthlessness transformed into a hope that never dies.

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"Hope is the only thing strong enough to prevent suicide and if you can give someone hope, you’ve given them everything." Amy is in the "hope building" business. The way she fights suicide is through hope and empowerment. Her prevention presentations include her personal story, mental health education, and humor.

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What people are saying


Amy immediately engaged and connected with everyone in the room. She is dynamic and authentic in sharing her story.  Beyond her own story, creating space to talk about de-stigmatizing and asking for help for mental health conditions was impactful, including giving youth language to describe their own conditions and to being mindful of how they use language that may invalidate other peoples conditions. I am so grateful to have access to Amy here in our own community! Thank you!

Amy Waddle is the best! She recently consulted with our Q Youth group about body positivity and helped us out with our affirming Fashion Show!  She spoke from the catwalk and encouraged not only the participants but all audience members. Amy isn’t just *body* positive, though – she’s a thoroughly positive person whose outlook and insights help raise self-esteem around body image. We highly recommend Amy Waddle and her services!

Amy Waddle was one of the key designers of our agency’s mental health curriculum, New Perspectives.  After the first year, she added a second day of training, devoted to student action plans.  In just two years, she has presented this material to over 3,000 students.  Amy is charismatic, creative, heartfelt, and 100% passionate about her work.  She also has the gift of forging quick and meaningful connections with the students she works with.  I have repeatedly pinched myself over my great fortune to have such a talented individual helping me launch this program.

Amy is talented in speaking to a diverse range of individuals, ranging from high school and college students to professionals in the community. She excels in truly connecting with those that she speaks to, as evidenced by feedback from the audience, “…puts a human face on emotional/behavioral disturbance, transcending what can be learned from a textbook or lecture. Honesty and vulnerability are modeled and expand the often narrow view of normalcy that is adopted.” Amy always brings a balance of professionalism and authenticity that reverberates throughout her presentation.


You managed to crack me up and also make me want to cry during your presentation. I love how genuine, raw and interesting it was; it could not have been easy. You really should be proud of how far you’ve come. Your husband and daughter are extremely lucky to have you. I am interested in buying your book if you contact me by email, that’d be great. Thank you so much!

Amy, you are probably one of the best speakers I have ever listened to. You are truly an inspiration, and I hope that you can reach that goal of not having your disorder effect you.

You are a true bad-ass! Your story is inspirational and taught me a lot about life with bipolar II, but especially with an eating disorder. I can’t wait to read your book. Also, you are an extremely talented public speaker, and you could develop a great and useful podcast. I appreciate your mission of raising awareness around these stigmatizing issues in young people.

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Want to learn more about having me speak at your event? Want to schedule a training? Let’s start the conversation! Just enter some basic information in the contact form below to send me an email.