Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
As the six-foot-six captain of the basketball team, the life of the party and a natural stand-up comedian, the teenaged Kevin Breel lived two lives. One was the confident and outgoing persona that he presented to the world — and the other hid itself away, only to surface in the privacy of his room.
“It was exhausting;” he told a captivated audience at Red Bank Regional High School. “The lie was getting bigger and bigger and harder to change.”
One day, when he felt he had hit rock bottom, he decided to end the charade and picked up his pen to write his suicide note. That was his wake-up call, and somehow he summoned the courage to do the unthinkable: break the taboo, and talk about it to his family. Five years later, the 22-year old author, performer, TED Talk sensation and mental health activist Kevin Breel is still talking; bringing his important message of teenage depression and awareness to audiences from coast to coast — a calling that brought him to Red Bank Regional for a recent assembly.
Breel’s visit was sponsored by The SOURCE, the School-based Youth Service Program at RBR. It was the only high school stop on the current North American promotional tour for his book Boy Meets Depression: Or Life Sucks and Then You Live; published by Random House and released in September of this year. It was also a visit that was prompted by a poignant invitation from RBR senior Julie Cocker, a member of the Youth Council Executive Committee for Society for the Prevention of Suicide in Freehold. Incredibly engaging, funny and self-deprecating, Breel commanded his audience’s attention on a very heavy subject; informing his audience that “This generation not only has the power to change the conversation, but to change the culture.”