National speaker delivers speech for Mental Wellness Week

Brent Scarpo, speaker and life coach, presents 'The Dog that Saved My Life' with his dog Sophie in the Cottonwood Room on Sept. 21 as a part of Mental Wellness week. (Photo by Regan Tokos | Collegian Media Group)

Brent Scarpo, national speaker and life coach, visited campus Thursday night as part of Mental Wellness Week to deliver his story, “The Dog that Saved my Life.”

Scarpo shared his take on addiction and depression through a personal story, hands-on activities and his small dog, Sophie.

When Scarpo was first diagnosed with depression, he doubted the diagnosis.

“Dude, I’m a motivational speaker, I’m not depressed,” Scarpo said.

Eventually, however, Scarpo came to terms with his gambling, alcohol and addiction to prescription medication. He came realize the deep depression he was in.

Sophie, his dog, was the highlight of the presentation and the ultimate reason Scarpo is here today.

“I lost everything, I didn’t see it coming,” Scarpo said. “I needed help.”

Sophie was that help.

Scarpo emphasized how important it is to maintain and be aware of your mental health. Anyone can be suffering, and there are resources out there to help, Scarpo said.

Scarpo presented statistics relating to college students, addiction and depression, along with information on coping mechanisms other than medication.

“He has such a great personality, such a bright personality; he isn’t hard to pay attention to,” Rachael Herter, senior in English, said. “Even when you feel like you’re at you’re worst, even when you feel like you don’t have a purpose, you do.”

Wendy Barnes, outreach coordinator for K-State Counseling Services, sponsored and organized the presentation.

“There are a lot of different ways in order to help you maintain your mental health,” Barnes said. “It’s important to take care of yourself and ask for help.”

As Mental Wellness Week comes to an end here on campus, Scarpo contributed to not only K-State students and staff, but to Manhattan area citizens as well.

“I thought [Scarpo] was very empathic and you could really relate to him,” Nicole Wade, Manhattan resident, said. “There are resources out there if you need help.”

The question Scarpo has for you is: who loves you? Who is there when you need them most? Who is your Sophie?