Jeff's Bio

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Jeff Yalden Bio

Jeff Yalden began his career in 1992 while he was a Marine. The Lieutenant Colonel of the ROTC program at Apoka High School in Orlando, Florida asked Jeff to come speak to his ROTC cadets about leadership. Jeff loved it; the kids loved it... and thus, a career was born! 

Jeff Yalden currently serves as an expert consultant in the area of technology and how it relates to our mental health. Jeff works closely with:

Jeff speaks at conferences, colleges and universities about the on-line world and how technology can best be used for optimal well-being.  He's also an expert witness and consultant to many organizations relating to teen mental health and suicide.

Jeff Yalden is highly regarded as North America’s number one teen mental health speaker, consultant, expert witness, and advocate on mental health and suicide. He serves as a leading suicide crisis intervention expert and suicide prevention trainer, having worked with hundreds of school communities in all 50 states, 49 countries, and every Province in Canada.

He is a four-time Amazon bestselling author, including his recent books, TEEN SUICIDE: The "WHY" Behind America's Teen Suicide Epidemic and BOOM! One Word to Inspire Action, Deliver Rewards, and Positively Affect Your Life Every Day. (CLICK HERE)

His Mental Health & Motivation: The Unlikely Life Coach Podcast attracts thousands of subscribers each month, due in large part to his hard-hitting and from-the-heart approach to motivation, self-improvement and his straight talk to families, teens and those interested in making real changes in their lives. (CLICK HERE)

Mental Health Advocate & Motivational Speaker . . . Be Influential!

Mental Health Advocate & Motivational Speaker . . . Be Influential!

Jeff takes research, statistics, and clinical information and communicates it to non-clinical professionals in a practical, engaging and user-friendly manner.  


From 2005-2011, Jeff was featured as a celebrity teen and family life coach on MTV’s long-running reality show, MADE, and has appeared in numerous print, radio, and television interviews nationwide, to include but not limited to: Fox, Fox News, USA Today, The Oprah Network, ESPN, CNN, NBC, SPIKE TV, A&E, CBS, ABC News, US News and World Report, MTV, and many others.

As a celebrity teen and family life coach, Jeff digs deep and gets to the heart of the matter -  helping teens, young adults, families, and communities successfully navigate through life’s every day struggles and find real solutions to the challenges that come their way.

He is a Gulf War Veteran and a two-time Marine-of-the-Year recipient, and was Mr. New Hampshire Male America in 1990.

Every year, more than a million people are inspired by Jeff Yalden’s messages, leaving then empowered by the palpable energy he leaves behind after every presentation.

Today, Jeff has a non-profit foundation, The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)(3) that brings awareness and suicide prevention to school communities in a crisis situation.

Daniel Webster College
Aeronautical Aviation/Psychology

American Psychological Association
American Correctional Association
American Association of Suicidology
Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology

Forensic Committee, San Diego Psychological Association
National Partnership for Juvenile Services
International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology

For more information about Jeff's speaking, Public appearances, Media Interviews, or the Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc. Speak Up ; Reach Out Campaign, please contact us.

Podcast Description:

Mental Health & Motivation

The Unlikely Life Coach

Jeff Yalden is a former two-time Marine-of-the-Year recipient and a man who lives with mental illness. He’s a tell-it-like-it-is advocate for rising up each day and not being a victim, who combines credible content with a butt-kicking-take-responsibility approach to damn near everything in your life. He’s a 26 year professional speaker on motivation and mental health, bestselling author, celebrity teen and a family life coach, and radio personality.



Where it all started . . .


Jeff has always wanted to work with teens.

Jeff has always wanted to work with teens.

Jeff Yalden overcame incredible odds to become the man he is today. As a teenager, he lost interest in life, in school, in himself. He took the SATs twice and received very low scores. Worse, Jeff suffered from a stutter, a facial tic, bad acne, and a learning disability. His self-esteem in the gutter, Jeff graduated high school 128th in a class of 133.

Although he was accepted by 3 of the 19 (rejected by 16 of the 19) colleges to which he applied, Jeff’s sense of inadequacy was so overpowering, he was afraid to attend. A turning point came one month after high school, when Jeff won the title of “Mr. New Hampshire Male America” and later Male America’s “Mr. Personality.” Further progress came when Jeff, answering the call of his country, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Learning the virtues of self-reliance and teamwork, Jeff became a two-time “Marine of the Year” and played for the All-Marine-Corps basketball team.

“Thank You for making me feel as if it was just me and you in a room together.”
– Student Leader, PFEW

Unfortunately, a failed relationship sent Jeff spiraling back to his old ways, and soon he found himself hospitalized with depression and suicidal tendencies. Upon being honorably discharged from the Marines, Jeff was left to face the $64,000 question: “Who am I, and what do I want out of life?” Jeff realized that his destiny was in his own hands. He could either sulk and feel sorry himself as he had done in the past, or he could make a new decision. He could reach within and make powerful, life-transforming choices. Something clicked. And the healing began.

Jeff started his speaking career while in the Marine Corps in Jacksonville, FL. After his honorable discharge, Jeff started teaching at Hollis Brookline High School and coached soccer and basketball. There, he really pursued his desire to work with teens as a youth motivational speaker.

You can laugh, but seriously his Triglycerides were 2784. Now, 178. His blood sugar was 550, now 110. His A1C was 15.5 and now 6.7. He was given less than a year to live. What a change.

You can laugh, but seriously his Triglycerides were 2784. Now, 178. His blood sugar was 550, now 110. His A1C was 15.5 and now 6.7. He was given less than a year to live. What a change.

Today (2019), at 48 years old you might think, “Why does Jeff still speak to teen audiences?” Jeff will be the first to tell you that he’s the best at speaking today more than ever before. First, he’s always wanted to reach the audience where he knew he failed himself. At 16 years old Jeff lost his self-worth leading to a poor attitude and bad choices. This is truly what drives Jeff in his work with today’s youth.

Also, Jeff is having more fun today as a speaker because of who he is and what he’s been through. A divorce at 42 years old sent Jeff looking in the mirror asking in Jeff’s words, “What did I have to do with this?” which brought out his mental health and Jeff realized his issues were greater than he thought.

Jeff is diagnosed with major depression, bi-polar type 2, and PTSD. Counseling and a lot of therapy, Jeff realized he needed to make some major changes and there life significantly changed and Jeff continues to grow as a mental health advocate professionally and personally.

Shortly thereafter Jeff suffered a sports injury in CrossFit where he needed emergency spinal cord fusion.  Spiraling backwards into major depression, Jeff’s diabetes created more and more issues. Hospitalized, Jeff was given less than one year to live as the doctor told him he was a ticking time bomb, Jeff opted for weight loss surgery.  Wasting no-time, Jeff went to Tijuana, Mexico to renowned Dr. Ortiz, and had weight loss surgery.

Today, Jeff lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and is 100% FREE of diabetes, is off all medications related to diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol.  He is down 85 lbs., works out every day (yoga and boot camp), and lives a more simple life taking care of his health – mentally and physically as his #1 priorities.

Jeff’s personal mental health has never effected any program, but Jeff is open about who he is and what he deals with.  He’s certified as a Suicide Prevention Trainer, an advocate for Mental Health, Teen Depression, Anxiety, Teen Suicide, and encourages his audience to not be afraid to ask for help and open your heart while losing your ego.  Jeff is real and never afraid to be transparent to his audiences and that is what his audiences love about him.

Remember, for 26 years, Jeff has been one of the top youth motivational speakers in education around the world.


Touching Hearts & (Literally) Saving Lives

Jeff connects with his audiences.

Jeff connects with his audiences.

Today, Jeff draws on the grace of that darkest hour to help today’s youth transform their own lives. Jeff believes that success comes down to our worldview, and our relationships with others. He believes that success in life – fulfillment and service – depends on the attitude we take from the moment we step out of bed.

“People treat us how we train them to treat us,” says Jeff. “When we unleash the best that is inside us, the world always mirrors it back. The goal is to radiate love and kindness at the same time we radiate our own self-respect.” Jeff is living proof of these miracles in transformation.

He has become the most in-demand youth motivational speaker in North America, having captured the imagination of nearly 4,000 teen audiences around the world. Jeff earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation in 2002.  The highest designation by the National Speakers Association and a distinction earned by fewer than 10% of all speakers.

Jeff routinely presents for family and social service organizations, high school and middle school assemblies and often is a keynote speaker for many state and national leadership organizations such as SADD, FBLA, FFA, STUCO, FCCLA, BPA, FHA, WE DAY, The National PRIDE World Drug-Free Conference, National Speakers Association, National Student Council, and many more.  Along with his youth programs for high school and middle school assemblies, youth leadership conferences, and many different teen events, Jeff also speaks to teachers, parents, and adult corporate audiences.