Meet The Speakers
Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas: As a clinical psychologist, inspirational international speaker, impact entrepreneur, and survivor of suicide loss, Dr. Spencer-Thomas sees the issues of suicide prevention and mental health promotion from many perspectives. Dr. Spencer-Thomas was moved to work in suicide prevention after her younger brother, a Denver entrepreneur, died of suicide after a difficult battle with bipolar condition. Known nationally and internationally as an innovator in social change, Spencer-Thomas has helped start up multiple large-scale, gap filling efforts in mental health including the award-winning campaign Man Therapy (a program using humor to engage men in mental health) and the nation’s first comprehensive workplace program designed to help employers with the successful prevention, intervention, and crisis management of suicide. A recent invited speaker at the White House, Spencer-Thomas’ goal is to elevate the conversation and make suicide prevention a health and safety priority in our schools, workplaces and communities. Spencer-Thomas has also held leadership positions for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, the American Association for Suicidology, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She has won multiple awards for her advocacy including the 2014 Survivor of the Year from the American Association of Suicidology, the 2014 Invisible Disabilities Association Impact Honors Award, and the 2012 Alumni Master Scholar from the University of Denver, the 2015 Farbarow Award from the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the 2016 Career Achievement Alumni Award from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology.
She has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver, Masters in Non-profit Management from Regis University, a Bachelors in Psychology and Studio Art with a Minor in Economics from Bowdoin College. She has written four books on mental health and violence prevention. She lives with her partner and three sons in Conifer, Colorado.
Dr. Mohatt is a Research Psychologist within the VA’s Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center and an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus. A community psychologist by training, Dr. Mohatt’s work is focused on rural health services and community engaged research to prevent suicide and related behaviors among Veterans and American Indian/Alaska Native communities. His research investigates development and implementation of community-level interventions to reduce barriers to treatment (such as, public stigmas and perceived need for care) and promote community protective factors (such as, social cohesion and connectedness). Secondary foci of this research are in community participatory methods and cultural considerations for developing and implementing suicide prevention and related rural health programs.
Dr. Mohatt will be joined by Nan Wise with the Veterans Coalition of Northwest Montana to highlight the collaborative partnership in serving Montana. www.vcnwm.org (website pending finalization)
In 2016 Tom completed a 50 year career in the entertainment industry working in technical production on World Concert Tours, Television, Corporate product introductions, and Special events. He is a member of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention, teaching safeTALK classes, mentoring instructors, and working on many of the events that are held in Nevada promoting suicide awareness. He is a Firearms Instructor licensed by the NRA to teach pistol, rifle,shotgun, and many self protection courses. He is licensed in Nevada and Utah to teach Concealed Carry courses for self protection. He is the link between the firearms community and the Coalition. He has written a one hour lecture and PowerPoint presentation on “Parents and Gun Safety” that is on the state website for teachers and counselors to utilize. He also works with TIP – Trauma Intervention Program and is on the Crisis Response Team responding to scenes of trauma.
Emma Arnold is America's fiercest sweetheart. Equal parts outrageous and thoughtful, her standup comedy is engaging, honest, and comes from the heart. In addition to being a successful touring comedian, Emma is the cofounder and artistic director of the 208 Comedyfest, the codirector of Comedyfort (part of the Treefort Festival), as well as a mother of three and third generation beekeeper. When not touring, Emma lives in Idaho, where she keeps kids and bees with varying degrees of success. Emma shared her story locally at Story Story Night (listen to recording here).