Behind the Forum

Tim Ellison is an author and youth mentor who works with adolescents and young adults suffering from depression and anxiety to help overcome the stigma that often prevents them from engaging in mental and behavioral health treatment. Tim works in both group settings and one on one, to empower them with effective tools and strategies while encouraging and supporting them in seeking the help they need to achieve optimal mental health and wellness.

With what he knows about the field and his personal experiences with the issues, Tim utilizes his own knowledge and expertise to help others who are fighting the same battle that he has overcome. Having been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, Tim has worked tirelessly to overcome his own challenges and is now committed to giving back.

Tim has been trained and is certified in Youth Development and is a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. He has work with youth in the inner cities of Boston and Washington, DC and many have attributed life changes to their relationship with Tim.


  • Principles of Positive Youth Development
  • Puberty and Adolescents
  • Youth and Technology
  • Youth Voice and Engagement
  • Youth Work Ethics

Tim has also wrote and published a book that is available on amazon called “Dawning After Darkness” and it highlights his battle with depression and anxiety and how he managed to fight off the bad stigma that surrounds these issues and ultimately got the help he needed.

What do I offer?

  • Focus groups
  • One on one mentoring
  • Trainings
  • Book Topic Talks

Why me?

Think about this. Like myself, most young adults and adolescents stray away from the hospital, especially when you don’t think anyone there can help with what you’re going through. Instead of forcing or even trying to encourage your child to go see a therapist or psychologist that they’re going to be uncomfortable with, this gives them an opportunity to connect with someone who they can really relate to. Being able to connect with someone who is not only closer to age, but someone they can actually relate to will give the person an opportunity to let their guard down and talk about the things that are bothering them. Being someone who feels like they’ve explored many methods in trying to resolve these problems, I found that talking to my friends and people that could relate more to me helped me to express myself even more and get to the root of what was going on. Comfortability is huge when it comes to dealing with depression and anxiety and being able to look at someone and see yourself in them is what helped me and still helps me today. Having tried many different methods for treating depression, I feel like I have a knowledge of the topic that even some clinicians and professionals don’t have. Actually having gone through, and even still fighting through what these kids are struggling with, I believe it’s possible that I’m the person best suited to help them. Looking at how things work nowadays, it’s either set yourself up with a therapist, or start a prescription, and what I’m trying to do is create a third option that comes from a genuine place of trying to help people get over the battle of their lives. My experience in the field and my battle have made me the perfect candidate for carrying out this mission. Someone who has been through the same exact battle as the clients, and still battling to this very day, allows for genuine conversation and an effortless connection. 

More info on the book: Dawning is a first person account of a young man’s battle with depression and the stereotypes & stigma that often stand in the way of treatment. This is a non-fictional account of how trauma, tragedy and loss led a bright young college student into the dark, lonely and dangerous throws of major depressive and general anxiety disorders and the crippling stigma and misinformation that often prevent young people like himself from seeking desperately needed help.

Dawning is a courageous, true story, and an enlightening, and instructive, in-depth description of his battle against the odds, through the darkness and his transcendence into the light. A great read for young people, parents, educators and clinicians along with anyone struggling with or supporting someone dealing with major depression.