Sustaining a Passion for Living
The Carson J Spencer Foundation's innovative approach to suicide prevention engages people across the lifespan using humor and entrepreneurship.
Sally Spencer-Thomas started the Carson J Spencer Foundation after her brother Carson died by suicide. The organizations primary goals are to prevent what happened to him from happening to others, and to celebrate the gifts he brought to the world like entrepreneurship, business leadership and humor. She, the CJSF staff, and board now focus on achieving this cultural shift by delivering innovative and effective suicide prevention programs for working-age people, by coaching young leaders to develop social enterprises for mental health promotion and suicide prevention, and by supporting people bereaved by suicide. They currently offer 4 programs, each addressing suicide from a diverse and essential angle:
- The FIRE Within charges and inspires entrepreneurs and young leaders to solve the causes of suicide in their communities.
- iCare Packages donates bundled resources, gifts, and materials for families grieving the loss of a loved one, designed to let them know that there is a community who supports them.
- Working Minds guides businesses in the best ways to offer suicide prevention services (still surprisingly unavailable through many employers) to their employees.
- Man Therapy takes an innovative, open, and humorous approach to getting men to discuss their feelings, problems and concerns in a forum.