Elaine Williams, a comedian, motivational speaker and author, and herself a former abuser of food, drugs and alcohol, spoke to students across the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest this year sharing her story and how to identify warning signs in friends. And she used humor in her talks to break through barriers and get students talking.
“There is so much shame, darkness and isolation in being an addict. And laughter is the opposite of that. It also releases endorphins. So, I don’t preach, lecture, point my finger or scare the students. I tell my story and how I overcame the abuses, but I also empathize and listen to the students. I get what they’re going through,” states Elaine. “There’s a lot of pressure to perform, be liked and feel part of a group.”
And students are responding to her talks on binge eating and alcohol and drug abuse.
“Elaine was real and really funny. She had our attention the whole time. I can tell she really cares about the students,” says Steven, a Freshmen at Southwest Tennessee Community College.
“Our crowds can be tough but they all loved Elaine. She had them laughing so hard that they kept listening, which is perfect because her subjects are so very important,” added the Student Activities Director, Phoenix Worthy, Southwest Tennessee Community College.
“I enjoyed Elaine’s presentation. She reinforced everything we cover in health education, but in a twisted, funny way. I found the student response very positive. I hope to purchase her book: Stop the Madness and use it with my Peer Educators,” stated Paul Cardoza, ED.D., Coordinator of Student Health Education, Salve Regina University.
Since schools started this August, Elaine has spoken at the following, leading schools that are tackling these issues and motivating students to have fun yet be safe, and be aware of warning signs to help their fellow students:
• New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
• University of Texas - Pan American, Edinburg, Texas
• Post University, Waterbury, Connecticut
• Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia
• Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas
• Salve Regina, Newport, Rhode Island
• Southwest Tennessee Community College, Memphis, Tennessee
• Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota
• The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee
• University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Having just released her first book, Stop the Madness: How to Identify Addiction Warning Signs in your Friends…and What to do About it, Elaine also provides students with tips and information on warning signs and having fun safely. Her top three Party 101 Tips for having fun and being safe are:
1) Never leave your drink alone
2) Have a party buddy – get ready together, go out together, and don’t go home until your party buddy goes home
3) Have a designated driver and cab money
Her book also addresses moderation and tolerance and to “Think it Through”. She gives tips on how to slow down, unwind and really be present to the world around.
“We move at such a fast pace, we don’t really have time to process our emotions and really talk with one another,” states Elaine. I use some fun exercises around eating chocolate with the students to demonstrate moderation and slowing down.”
Elaine also let’s students know where to find help if they need it and emphasizes to students that they are not alone and there is help.
“I recently told my story at a college conference about how I overcame bulimia. Later on, I had three young women come up to me and tell me that they hated their bodies and that they were thinking about or had already bought laxatives, but because they heard me, they decided against it. That is why I do what I do,” states Elaine.
About Elaine Williams:
Elaine Williams is a comedian, speaker and author. She uses her training as a Certified Ford Institute Coach to fully engage and interact with her audiences. Elaine has appeared on shows such as HBO and Saturday Night Live. She has also appeared on TV news and print such as Fox News and The New York Times.
For more information, click on www.elainewilliamslive.com or to book an interview with Elaine Williams, please call Julie Fenwick on 973-280-7157 or email at fenwickcomms@