I was born and raised in Upstate New York, near Plattsburgh, and am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I served in the U.S. Air Force for 21 years and endured further traumatic experiences during my military service both stateside and in the Middle East. My story tells about the incredible effects PTSD has had on my life and the issues that go along with unrecognized PTSD, some of which include depression, rage, substance abuse, self-destruction and suicide attempts.
I am an Inspirational Speaker with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services T.R.A.U.M.A (Trauma Resources and Unified Management Assistance) program about PTSD awareness and suicide prevention for law enforcement, first responders and Veterans. I have presented at several colleges and academies which include Syracuse University, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Canton, Alfred State, Buffalo State, Clinton Community College and the Nassau County Police Academy. I also speak extensively for 'Hope Changes Everything,'in High Schools and Middle Schools about the importance of speaking out, and that it's OK in this world to ask for help.
My story is yet raw and transparent, I tried to take my own life. I tell the truth, reliving my traumas with the audience. I have overcome so much and to take 'My Mess and make it my Message' is a testament to myself and my presentation.
At my side at all times is my Great Dane Service Dog, Dash. She has and continues to play a very vital role in my recovery.
“SCOTT it was an incredible presentation and brought the group to a more poignant and deeper level. I was particularly pleased about the young male that got up to acknowledge and thank you right away…He arrived at the retreat with dead eyes and I was worried about him. He left with a spark in his eyes. I think your talk had a lot to do with his inspiration.”
Valerie, Program Director , November 2019
"I really appreciate how you didn’t sugar coat anything in your presentation. I received some good feedback from the Veterans. Especially related to how open you were willing to share about your struggles and challenges you have experienced.
All in all you did great. I really appreciate you coming and talking with the Veterans. It is absolutely fantastic to see where you have gone and what you are doing since leave the DOM."
Shawn Gianforte, MSBA, LCSW
U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
Canandaigua VA Medical Center
A part of my Story...
Get to know me...
Mountain Lake PBS of Northern New York has done multiple interviews following my path and my progress toward Suicide Prevention Presentations.