A National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention “Signature Event”
Wyoming Behavioral Institute (WBI) partnered with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) to bring international mental health and suicide prevention impact entrepreneur Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas to Casper on Dec. 6, to address “Workplace Wellbeing 24/7: Making Suicide Prevention A Priority.” Dr. Spencer-Thomas has led nationwide workplace suicide prevention initiatives, including development of the Working Minds: Suicide in the Workplace program and has held leadership roles with the International Association of Suicide Prevention, the American Association of Suicidology, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and United Suicide Survivors International.
Dr. Spencer-Thomas’ keynote was followed by a panel discussion featuring Cary Brus, CEO of the McMurry Companies who began publicly addressing the impact of suicide on leadership after his company’s founder and president died by suicide in 2015; Wyoming State Auditor Cynthia Cloud, whose son died by suicide in 2016; Natrona County Prevention Management Organization Coordinator Rob Johnston; and WBI Associate Clinical Director Kristin Sween, a member of the state Mental Health Licensing Board with extensive experience in the treatment field. QPR (Question Persuade and Refer) training followed the keynote and panel.
WBI enhanced its collaboration with local, state and national partners to ensure that the state of Wyoming continues to build momentum behind efforts to prevent suicide deaths. Working with the Action Alliance, WBI was able to bring together stakeholders from many local businesses concerned about how employers can make a difference in suicide prevention.
Leaders and representatives from the oil and gas industry, financial institutions, county and state government, healthcare and churches attended the event, which focused on how to lead sustainable change in culture to move the conversation about suicide prevention into the business realm.
The Wyoming panel that followed focused on the experience of each panelist, and how they are individually influencing change in their workplaces.
Dr. Spencer-Thomas was interviewed by local television stations about workplace wellbeing and spoke live on K2TV’s early morning show prior to the event.
Feedback from the event was overwhelming positive. Comments shared by attendees included:
“I enjoyed the willingness of the participants to share their experiences and the wonderful resources that were shared.”