Gabe Howard Speaks At Prestigious Oxford University: A Positive Example Of Someone With Bipolar Disorder Speaking Out!

Advocate Gabe Howard speaking at prestigious Oxford University in England. (Photo courtesy of Gabe Howard.)

(12-6-22) All too often, the only stories about individuals with serious mental illnesses that make the news are sad and depressing. So I was thrilled when I learned that Gabe Howard, who has written in the past for this blog, recently was invited to the Oxford Union to speak about whether the Internet is helpful or harmful for individuals with mental illnesses.

That’s the Oxford Union at the University of Oxford in England where there is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation.

Previous speakers have included former President Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, Morgan Freeman, and Mother Teresa.

“To go from thinking demons were chasing me and being committed to a psychiatric hospital and now I was invited to — and did — speak at Oxford University?” Gabe wrote in an email to me. “Even I can’t string together the words to explain how that happened. It’s beyond amazing. It’s a real testament to the power of the patient voice and to advocacy in general that I was even considered, let alone selected.”

Besides being a tireless advocate and excellent speaker, Gabe was invited to Oxford because he is host of Healthline Media’s Inside Mental Health podcast which averages 75,000 listens per month and whose guests have included Dr. Phil McGraw, Jennette McCurdy, and Alanis Morrissette. You also might recognize his name because he is the author of Mental Illness Is An Asshole.

“Sharing my opinions with the students and faculty members of Oxford was unlike anything I thought I’d ever have the opportunity to do. People with mental illness are often not recruited to be on the boards of mental health charities and here I was sitting in the forum at the oldest and most prestigious learning institution in the world. 

“I sat in the same chairs, at the same table, and in the same room as presidents, prime ministers, and Nobel prize winners. The views expressed by a man living with bipolar disorder were not only heard — they were sought after. The gravity of the moment was not lost on me, not only for what it meant for me, but what it meant for the patient voice in general.” 

Judging from the attached photo, I’d say Gabe fit right in.

You can hear his opinions about the Internet and other mental health topics by listening to Inside Mental Health hosted by Gabe Howard. You can also learn more about Gabe and his advocacy here.  You can contact Gabe at

Congratulations Gabe! Keep making your voice heard.

Gabe Howard at the Oxford Club. ( Photo courtesy of Gabe Howard.)

About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.