Brett.Ullman

Markham cyclist shares painful story of depression

Unionville man bikes 750 km to raise funds and awareness for mental health

Great story. Neil, thanks for sharing your journey. The more we share our stories the less stigma there is for those of us dealing with mental health struggles.

“You feel betrayed by life. Despite living a phenomenal life, you’re sad and it’s completely incongruous. You lose weight, don’t sleep, not driven, lose focus, irritated, anxious, panic attacks, self-critical, guilty, irrational belief systems … We are talking about chemically destabilized brains and it requires a lot of TLC.”

Sometimes it is environmentally triggered — by loss in the family, failure in some part of life, stress.

“Everything we feel is chemical, and sometimes those chemicals get triggered to go in the wrong direction and stay there,” he says.

“It is very treatable. But this is not a disease that can be treated by one person. It needs an orchestra. The psychiatrist may be the conductor but there are multiple musicians — family friends, work colleagues, support services all have a role. It’s a big, multifaceted intervention.

Click here for the entire article.

Heading into my 20th year speaking… can you help?

As I head into fall 2017, I am excited to begin my 20th year as a speaker. I am honoured to have had ongoing opportunities to speak across Canada and the US for 2 decades on topics like mental health, media, sexuality, pornography, dating, and men. Thank you so much to the hundreds of people, likely including you reading this now, who have supported us both financially and with prayer over the past 20 years. I could never have dreamed up how far this ministry has come since first starting out. As my wife now tells me, “I was terrible”! However now, I see daily the fruit of mine and others investments when students and parents gain new perspectives and hope from one of my talks.

The favourite parts of my job are researching, creating presentations and then to deliver those presentations in order to challenge people to connect their ancient faith with this modern world. I want to encourage my listeners to “enter the danger” on topics that may be difficult to work through. In these confusing times, we need Christ centered perspectives and intelligent insights into current matters more than ever. The students we are mentoring are looking to us to help them navigate these topics and we all need better equipping.  One of my least favourite things I need to do is fundraising.  One of the least liked, shared or commented on posts that I put on social media are about fundraising. The hard part with this is that for a non-profit organization like Worlds Apart, fundraising is necessary for our functioning.  As a small charity, our funds come in from 3 sources

40% – speaking engagement honorariums
40% – tax receiptable donations/fundraising
20% – sales of books, DVD’s, digital downloads

For this ministry year, I am looking forward to these projects below:

  1. Creation of a App to be used before, during, and after my speaking engagements
  2. Filming the new dating.for.life presentation
  3. Filming the media.faith.culture talk for students and parents
  4. Updating aging technology

I’d like to tell you more about each project in the hopes that one or more of them may interest you specifically and you may be prompted to give.

(1) Brett Ullman Speaking App I have the chance to speak to tens of thousands of students, parents, and leaders each year. One of my struggles is how to engage people attending my talks better both before, during and after my talks. An app will allow me to help people with taking notes during the presentations, live polling and resourcing people in all aspects of my talks. My talks are meant to spur people into deeper, more intentional thinking and providing an app to support the talks will provide more easily accessible information to the audience. This is in keeping with current technology trends in society today.

Total needed for App $5000

(2) Filming new dating.for.life talk. The demand for my talks outweighs my abilities to go in person to every audience. With the talks being filmed, we are able to get these out to people digitally (Vimeo on Demand and on DVD). Our past talks that we have filmed have been bought in countries all over the world which is really exciting as many of those places would not be able to afford to fly me in. I want to reach as many people as possible with true, hope filled conversation. With each DVD/digital download sold, more people are taught and more income is generated to sustain this ministry. To film, edit, print DVD’s, and create a trailer for the dating talk, I need to raise $7,500.

(3) Filming media.faith.culture talk. This is one of my most popular talks that I do challenging people in all aspects of our media choices, faith growth and engaging our culture. It would be amazing to get this talk available to people. Similarly to the dating talk, we need to raise $7,500 for this project. I would love to film this talk in Winter 2018.

Total needed for filming of both talks $15,000

(4) Technology: now this is not an exciting place for fundraising but technology is also something I use daily in my office or when I am speaking. Presently my laptop is almost 6 years old and my desktop is 5 1/2 years old. When I am speaking I need a current, functioning laptop will be able to be used for my presentations without any issues. My data projector is also aging at 8 years old. One of the reasons I am able to keep the attention of students so well is my use of technology to connect with them.

What I need in the technology area

  1. iMac – This is the main computer I use for all aspects of my work when I am not on the road speaking. Cost ~$3,000
  2. MacBook – This is the computer I use for all of my speaking presentations. Cost ~$2,000
  3. Data Projector ~$900

Total needed for technology – $5,900

Total fundraising needs – $25,900

I have to be honest this is an overwhelming amount for a small charity like ours. One thing I have heard from people over the years is that if I ever need help, I just need to ask. So this is me asking.

  1. Can you help? You can make a one-time donation or monthly donations through Canada Helps by clicking here. Some people support at $10 a month while for others they might be able to support at $50, $75 or $100 a month. For others, it is a one-time donation. Every donation helps, please don’t think that what you can contribute does not matter. “For anything great to happen, what is needed is a long obedience in the same direction.” Let’s make something great happen and do this together.
  2. Can the business you work for help? I know many companies offer donations to charities. Some businesses want to do anonymous donations which are always ok. Some companies also do matching donations so if you donated $500 they will match and give another $500. Maybe you’d like to stretch your donation dollars by looking into your workplace giving plans.
  3. Do you know of any foundations that might be able to help? Please send through their information.
  4. Networking: If you cannot donate, would you be willing to send this to someone who might be able to? Would you consider telling your church, Christian or Catholic school and other networks about my talks so that they may look into bringing me in to speak to their group.
  5. Purchasing: You could help by purchasing a talk from our store. There are 4 books and 4 DVDs or digital downloads available. All money from these products goes back into the charity. Click here for the store.

I look forward to continuing to empower and equip students, parents, and leaders in tough conversations with your help. Please consider donating. If you have any questions please send me an email at brett@brettullman.com.

Thanks for your time.
Brett Ullman
Worlds Apart
www.brettullman.com

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

In my Loneliness research, the conversation on how Social Media might be affecting a new generation keeps coming up. Here is a great yet scary article. Just because we like social media does not mean it is good for us. Love to hear peoples thoughts on this.

I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys. Then I began studying Athena’s generation.

Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.

The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.

Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

But the allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.

One line in the article stopped me.

So what are they doing with all that time? They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.

I feel like I could have just pasted the entire article. Just a taste above.
Please click here for the entire article.

New Music NF – Outro

If I had to be honest NF’s music has been some of my favourite over the past few years. New song came out this week. If you watch his older videos you will notice all of his past videos are in this new video. Check it out. Make sure you check out the 3rd video which walks through his new video.

So you want to see his lyrics. Such a powerful lyricist.

Thoughts on his new song:

20 Songs for 20 Years: Happy Anniversary Dawn

Happy 20th Anniversary Dawn. After 20 years I still choose you. 20 Songs for our 20 years!!!
Love you
Brett
P.S. For any movie buffs where we are standing is where the X-Men plane takes off from.

#20 Stevie Wonder: I Just Called To Say I love You

#19 Rick Astley: Together For Ever

#18 Barenaked Ladies: Lovers in a Dangerous Time

#17 Coldplay: Fix You

#16 Daughtry: Home

#15 Eli: Things I Prayed For

#14 Finger Eleven: One Thing

#13 Owl City: Good Time

#12 Rick Springfield: Love Somebody

#11 Michael Buble: Everything

#10 Flesh for Lulu: I Go Crazy

#9 Ed Sheeran: Lego House

#8 Avicii: Broken Arros (Didrick Extended Mix)

#7 Maroon 5: It Was Always You

#6 Mat Kearney: Ships in the Night

#5 Ben Rector: Beautiful

#4 Bruno Mars: Just the Way You Are

#3 Peter Gabriel: In Your Eyes

#2 Mat Kearney – Billion

#1 Spirit of the West: Miller’s Daughter (The Song Dawn came down the aisle to at our wedding)

 

Happy Anniversary!

TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski responds to the death of Chester Bennington

powerful response.

“I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter
I had to fall to lose it all, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter”

It’s one thing to hear the hopeless words of an honest man in an honest moment. We relate. We appreciate the honesty. But to hear Chester Bennington sing these words on the day he died, knowing death came in a truly hopeless moment, knowing that single moment steals the chance of any future hopeful moment, the words take on a different weight.

Please know you’re not the only one who hurts. You’re not the only one with questions and sadness and pain. If life feels nearly impossible, please know you’re not alone. Please know that it’s okay to be honest. You don’t have to fake it. You don’t have to play it cool. If you need help, please know you’re worth whatever help you need. If you need to talk to a counselor, if you need to call or text a hotline, if you need to step into treatment, it’s perfectly okay. You deserve whatever help you need.

Please stay alive, for every future moment. For the next album you’re going to love, for the best concert you haven’t been to yet, for your wedding or your husband or your wife, for the kids you have or dream of having. Stay alive to be surprised, by love and hope and help.

If someone you care about is struggling, please reach out. Please break the silence. Please cross the distance. Remind them they are loved. Remind them they deserve better. Encourage them to get help.

Click here for the entire article.