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Suicide Research to Practice — Closing the Gap: Interview with Prof. Nav Kapur | Episode 85

When it comes to the field of Suicidology, we often work in silos. The researchers, clinicians, public health practitioners, advocates, and crisis service stakeholders often focus primarily in their own communities, finding comfort and validation in joining with others who share similar culture, values and priorities. When it comes to groups implementing best practices, collaboration with researchers is essential. In this interview I speak with internationally renowned expert on suicide and self-harm, Prof. Nav Kapur from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. We discuss some of the tensions and opportunities that we face as we bridge research to practice.

About Prof. Nav Kapur
Nav is Professor of Psychiatry and Population Health at the University of Manchester, UK and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. He has spent the last 25 years researching suicidal behaviour, particularly its causes, treatment and prevention. He has led committees for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK including those developing guidelines for how all clinical staff should treat people with self-harm. He sits on the main advisory group on suicide for the Department of Health in England and is currently helping to lead a national quality improvement project to prevent suicide. He is the lead author of Suicide Prevention (3rd Edition, Oxford University Press) and has published over 300 academic papers. He is the 2021 recipient of the American Association of Suicidology’s Louis I. Dublin Award for lifetime achievement in suicide prevention. For more information on this episode go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/85

Transformational Leadership in Suicide Prevention — Lessons Learned from the Construction Industry: Interview with Jerry Shupe | Episode 84

What is transformational leadership?
Transformational leadership happens when people come together to rise for a daunting challenge to benefit the common good. Transformation leaders focus on impact and empower others to reach for higher and higher levels of motivation and morality. Transformational leaders are:

Bold

Idealized influencers

Creativity encouragers

Role models for a compelling vision

Process challengers

Purpose AND people driven

Today’s podcast is about transformational leadership in the area of construction suicide prevention. I interview Jerry Shupe, the Corporate Director of Safety and Health for Hensel Phelps, one of the nation’s largest construction contractors.

About Jerry Shupe
Jerry Shupe
Jerry Shupe, CSP is the Corporate Director of Safety and Health for Hensel Phelps which specializes in building development, construction, and facility services. He graduated from Montana Tech with a degree in Occupational Safety and Health and has more than nineteen years’ experience in the industry. Jerry serves on the Industry Advisory Board for Montana Tech’s Safety and Health Program and is involved in a variety of industry groups including the American Society of Safety Professionals and the National Construction Safety Executives. He was recognized as the Safety Professional of the Year by AGC of California and received the Award of Excellence from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. For more information on this episode go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/84

Couple Care — Tools to Rock Your Relationship: Interview with Lisa Stull | Episode 83

“Falling in love is easy. Falling in love with the same person repeatedly is extraordinary.”
Every so once in a while, many of us in long-term relationships find we need to reboot our relationship — routines may have made relationships go stale and perpetual conflicts breed resentment. In this episode I speak with Marriage and Family Counselor Lisa Stull, an expert in the Gottman method of relationship transformation. She shares what differentiates “master couples” from “disaster couples,” teaches about the four horseman and their antidotes, and gives us tools on how to build a sound relationship house.

About Lisa Stull
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Lisa Stull is a Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice, Comprehensive Counseling Solutions, in Parker, CO. With 25 years of experience she has a unique approach that attracts clients seeking a no nonsense perspective. Working on difficult issues can be challenging and her clients appreciate her ability to make the work interesting and fun, yes, therapy can be fun! Being passionate about helping couples create their ideal relationship led her to the Gottman method. The proven science behind the framework and tools, is what makes this approach so different, because it actually works! Her dynamic Art & Science of Love workshops transforms a couples perspective on what a healthy relationship looks like and they leave with proven tools to renew their connection.
In her spare time she owns two other businesses, a wellness center and an aesthetics center. Both centered around her desire for every person to be the best version of themselves – on the inside and out.
And just to send her mother into a fit of worry, she does all this working virtually so she can live full time out of her RV, traveling to all the beautiful national parks with her husband, fluffy dog, and two fluffier cats. For more information about this episode go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/83

Suicide is the Untold Story of Gun Violence in the US — Why Gun Safety is Suicide Prevention: Interview with Dr. Michael Anestis | Episode

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, nearly 2/3 of all gun deaths in the US are suicide fatalities. A surge in firearm purchases during the last year have many in the suicide prevention field concerned about increasing suicide rates long term, because the research is clear — easy access to lethal means for suicide increases risk for people when suicidal intensity surges.

In this podcast, I speak with one of the worlds leading experts on guns and suicide. Dr. Mike Anestis shares concrete action steps we can take as we work toward a collaborative solution to keep our homes safer from suicide.

Dr. Mike Anestis
Dr. Mike Anestis

About Dr. Michael Anestis
Dr. Mike Anestis is the Executive Director, New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University’s Department of Urban-Global Public Health

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Mike Anestis received his PhD in clinical psychology from Florida State University, where he studied under Dr. Thomas Joiner. His work focuses on suicide prevention among both civilians and service members, with a particular focus on the role of firearms. He is the author of approximately 150 peer reviewed articles as well as the book Guns and Suicide: An American Epidemic, published by Oxford University Press in 2018. Dr. Anestis was the 2018 recipient of the Edwin Shneidman Award from the American Association of Suicidology in recognition of his early career achievements in suicide research and currently serves on advisory board for a number of organizations, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Jed Foundation. For more information on this episode go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/82

Finding Opportunities in Conflict — How to Communicate Effectively When Friction Disrupts High Stakes Relationships: Interview with Lisa St

In today’s world, we are set up for polarization. How do we turn our 5-alarm fights into something more constructive?

Conflict for many is unpleasant at best. Often when conflict is particularly intense or prolonged in high stakes relationships, the psychological pain can be excruciating. As humans, when we experience things that cause pain we tend to escape, avoid or react. On one hand, retreating from the “threat” of conflict means we stuff it down and pretend nothing is wrong and resentments can smolder into contempt. On the other hand reacting usually results in us saying or doing things that we regret or puts us in an escalating pattern.

In this episode I speak with culture and nonviolent communication expert Lisa Stokes Nicholas. She shares tools you can use in your work and personal life to move from conflict to curiosity.

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About Lisa Stokes Nicholas
Lisa Stokes Nicholas, President of Kavi Consulting Services brings 25 years of nonprofit management and consulting experience to each engagement. This extensive background, blended with her training in mindfulness and nonviolent communication has provided a unique blend of guidance and support resulting in significant improvements within domestic and international organizations serving multiple sectors including: advocacy; education; faith communities; food security; healthcare; hospice; information technology; government; security; sustainable energy; technology; and travel.

Prior to founding Kavi Consulting Services, Lisa was the Director of Strategic Restructuring for Planned Parenthood Federation of America where she developed and implemented restructuring initiatives for the federated organization with combined assets of more than $1billion and more than 100 affiliates in 50 states and led negotiations with senior leaders from more than 60 organizations.

In addition, Lisa has worked with a multitude of organizations to strengthen their governance processes, create strategic plans, or move from crisis to sustainability. During this process Lisa has served as a coach to many individuals. For more information on this episode go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/81

A Thriving Hive — How to Cultivate Employee Engagement and Workplace Well-Being: Interview with Mari Ryan | Episode 80

Overwork. Burnout. Resentment. Churn. Bullying. Exclusion. Gossip. These qualities define the toxic work conditions that Mari Ryan calls a “dive hive.” She makes the argument that personal and community resilience are highly influenced by the cost-saving and life-saving preventative care we cultivate at work. Instead of a ‘“dive hive,” we need an “alive hive” filled with purpose, joy and impact. In this podcast Mari outlines a strategy on how companies can advance worker well-being and thrive.

About Mari Ryan, MBA, MHP, CWP
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Mari Ryan is a workplace well-being expert, international speaker and award-winning author. She is the CEO and founder of AdvancingWellness and leverages over 30 years of business experience in a variety of industries. For the past decade, Ms. Ryan has been creating thriving workplaces, through her consulting work and speaking on worksite well-being. Mari earned a Bachelor’s degree from Lesley University, an MBA from Boston University, a Master’s degree in Health Promotion from Nebraska Methodist College. Mari is an active member of the National Speakers Association. Mari is the author of award-winning book The Thriving Hive: How People-Centric Workplaces Ignite Engagement and Fuel Results. for more information on this episode go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/80

Turn Off the Alarm Bells — How to Prioritize Civility in a Divisive World: Interview with Sejal Thakkar | Episode 79

At the heart of civility is respect. Respect and dignity are essential for psychological safety, especially when others have diverse experiences and viewpoints. Civility is not about complacency or placating. It’s not about denying or pushing away strong feelings that can emerge when conflict emerges. It’s about temporarily suspending our alarm bells for a period of time so we can do the hard work of “climbing the empathy wall” to better understand the deep stories behind those we see as “the other.”

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In this podcast, I interview Sejal Thakkar, an employment lawyer whose family immigrated from India. She has lived the duality of a “betwixt/between” life and has experienced the incivility of discrimination. As she grew through these experiences, she developed a “civility plan” to help workplaces improve their tactics for psychological safety.

About Sejal Thakkar, Esq.
Sejal Thakkar
Dubbing herself “Chief Civility Officer”, Sejal is not your average employment law attorney! Her more than fifteen years of experience advising clients, human resources personnel, and legal counsel regarding sound, standard employment practices uncovered a need – and personal passion – for bringing more proactive, relevant, and impactful workplace training programs to her clients and their teams. Her highly experiential customized workshops tailored to executives, managers, and individual contributors bring the courtroom to the training room in an interactive, engaging environment that favors human stories over compliance checklists. For more information on this episode go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/79

Intersectionality & Historical Trauma — 3 Insights for Resilience: Interview with Dr. Tammy Sanders | Episode 78

How we see ourselves often is shaped by the many voices of our experience —- intersecting identities, some which may be aligned, others in conflict with one another. The voices we internalize may come from our parents or other influential adults from our childhood, or our religions and cultures more broadly. Still, other voices may be those of our ancestors, whom we have never met, but whose experiences have been imprinted in our bodies.

In this conversation I speak with the inspiring Dr. Tammy Sanders, a self-identified, Black, gay woman raised in the Black Baptist Church of the deep South. She realized at an early age that in order to survive, she needed to escape parts of herself or perish. Come listen to her incredible journey to wholeness — a holistic approach towards uncomfortable growth surrounded by deep connection with others.

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About Tammy Sanders, Ph.D.
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For nearly 30 years, Tammy’s life and work have been an active commitment to self-awareness, healing and growth. Her professional life has focused on behavioral development for leaders and managers, while her personal emotional, mental and spiritual growth has leveraged 12-step, therapy, and entheogenic experiences to move beyond addiction, depression, complex PTSD and transgenerational trauma.

With expertise grounded in experience and research, Tammy remains committed to holistic and accessible mental wellness in service of a stable and just world. Where there are initiatives, efforts and people who share this commitment, she’s keen to connect and is best reached via www.linkedin.com/in/tammyssanders.

Professionally, she is a seasoned strategist, advisor, facilitator and coach with an MA Anthropology of Media from the University of London, an MBA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a PhD in Education and Technology from Florida International University. Tammy’s evolutionary career in media, tech, management, and professional development includes guiding the behavioral growth of leaders at all stages in their careers, from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and across a wide range of industries.

Personally, her emotional, mental and spiritual growth has leveraged 12-step, cognitive and somatic therapies, and entheogenic experiences to move beyond addiction, depression, complex PTSD and transgenerational trauma.

With expertise grounded in experience and research, Tammy remains committed to holistic and accessible mental wellness in service of a stable and just world. Where there are initiatives, efforts and people who share this commitment, she’s keen to connect and is best reached via www.linkedin.com/in/tammyssanders. For more information on this episode please go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/78

From Toxicity to Tranquility — Prioritizing Personal Peace: Interview with Reggie Hubbard | Episode 77

When we face adversity or toxic environments, how we respond makes all the difference. Breathing helps us create space in between the stimulus and our response, and in that space we can sometimes find calm, gratitude and possibilities. In this podcast I chat with Reggie Hubbard, a man who found yoga as he tried to cope with workplace toxicity and transition. His three criteria for finding tools too help him cope:

Does it enhance creativity?

Does it lower my blood pressure?

Does it make me smile?

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About Reggie Hubbard
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Reggie Hubbard is a certified yoga teacher and the founder/Chief Serving Officer of Active Peace Yoga. Adopting a disciplined yogic has saved his life and he is committed to sharing these practices to help others.

His wellness journey was born of curiosity; forged in adversity due to a toxic employment situation; and has become a lesson in surrender to the miracles that exist in commitment to personal peace and wellbeing as a foundation, rather than an afterthought. By prioritizing wellness, calm and balance become our resting state, from which we are better able to receive Life’s challenges and blessings with equanimity. for more information on this episode go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/77

“What Do You Do?” — Reflecting on Work, Identity & Well-Being: Interview with Scott Mason | Episode 76

When we ask “What do you do?”, what we often mean is “What WORK do you do?” In many ways — at least in the United States — our culture tells us, “You ARE what you do for a living.” Not only as a provider for your family and a meaningful contributor to society (and “meaningful” is often defined by the paycheck and the status”) but as someone who is earnestly chasing the “American Dream.”

The original ideas of the “American Dream” may have been about equality, justice and democracy, its current interpretation has become the ethos of our society — the belief that anyone who works hard enough work can achieve material success and upward mobility and that this type of prosperity will give you liberty and happiness. Here the values of self-reliance and work ethic are highly valued and often come at the cost of our health, relationships, and others’ well-being as we claw our way to “the top.”

For some of us our work identity becomes what we call our “single-source” identity. Meaning, we have put most if not all our identity “eggs” into one basket: our work or wealth. We define our worth by the size of our 401K or by our promotions. Here we are particularly vulnerable. For when that “basket” crashes — through lay-offs, firing, demotion, failure, disability, even retirement — and we can no longer do the work that defines us, we feel “the fall is so great”, and there is no safety net to catch us.

On the positive side, when work is working well, it gives us a sense of belonging and a sense of being a part of something larger than ourselves. Work gives us structure to our lives and the satisfaction that our skills and talents are contributing to the world in some way. This positive aspect of our identity protects us against depression, anxiety and loneliness. In this interview with Scott Mason, we explore the role of our work in our identity and well-being. We argue that we all need to cultivate a multifaceted identity where our personal worth is based on being loved for who you ARE not just on being admired for what you DO.

About Scott Mason
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Scott Mason is a motivational and keynote speaker — focusing on resilience, personal transformation, and social ethics — as well as the Principal of Scott Mason, LLC, which provides small business consulting and leadership mentoring services. Prior to that, Scott was co-Principal of The Brooklyn Press, a silkscreen printing company with locations in NYC and Newburgh, NY. Previously, Scott was the General Counsel and Vice-President of Operations for Urban Resource Institute, the USA’s largest provider of domestic violence shelter services and an operator of homeless shelters. He also spent nearly 20 years in executive and in-house counsel positions with various City of New York agencies, including a time as the second-in-command of the agency which operates the City’s administrative tribunal system. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Carleton College, and completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in 2019. for more information on this episode go to https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/76

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