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Hope Illuminated Podcast

What You Need to Know about Peer Support as a Critical Link in the Chain of Survival: Interview with Eduardo Vega | Episode 9

“People don’t always need advice. Sometimes all they need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen and a heart to understand them.”

In this inspirational podcast I have the great honor of interviewing one of my most beloved social agitators, Eduardo Vega. Eduardo begins by sharing his own experiences with suicidal intensity and the “incomprehensible demoralization” he felt as he tried to escape himself. For him the turning point happened when he started to connect with something larger than himself by helping others. Eduardo talks at length on the podcast about the helper principlein other words, the notion that helping others helps us. While the idea of peer support has long been promoted in addiction recovery and among mental health advocates, it is just now gaining traction in suicide prevention. Eduardo shares his view on why this is so, and gives us the science and the strategy for “the way forward.”

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3 Ways to Build Resilience at Work: Interview with Judge (Ret.) Mary McClatchey | Episode 8

Employers are often challenged recruiting and retaining top talent. How can you address this problem? A resilient workforce and a mindset of a wellness culture at work. This strategy also helps promote mental health and prevent suicide. In this highly engaging interview, Judge (Ret.) Mary McClatchey makes the business case for emotional well-being at work. She concludes by sharing three take-aways that will help employers build a more psychologically hardy workplace

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Making Meaning after a Mental Health or Suicide Crisis: Interview with Dr. DeQuincy Lezine | Episode 7

For people who are in the midst of a mental health or suicide crisis, the focus is often “how do we survive this?” How do we get through each day? Sometimes it’s an effort just to get by moment to moment. It’s hard to consider how to integrate these experiences into the narrative of our lives. In this episode, we hear a powerful story of a man who has been a role model for so many in showing us how this can be done. Listen in to learn more from the science, stories and strategies Dr. DeQuincy Lezine shares. Here you will find some practical tools on how to turn our wounds and darkest days into sources of power and inspiration as we move forward on our hero’s journey

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Military Suicide Grief an Interview with Kim Ruocco | Episode 6

In this episode I have this distinctive honor of interviewing Kim Ruocco from TAPS who shares her personal and professional journey after suicide loss. We discussed the challenges of suicide grief -- how we balance honoring the lives our loved ones lived with fears of contagion in the community. How do we support children -- especially young children -- left in suicide's wake? The paradox of traumatic grief and the tensions of postvention are also explored. We identify a long list of resources to help military families who are facing the daunting challenge of living through a suicide tragedy. You don't want to miss this powerful and practical episode, especially Kim's closing story -- I was brought to tears.

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Sally Spencer-Thomas
How to Best Support Someone Living with a Mental Health Condition -- Interview with Kevin and Margaret Hines | Episode 5

Being a caregiver for someone living with a major mental health condition like bipolar disorder is not easy. Let's be honest, our mental healthcare system is challenging -- even when people are mentally well, let alone when they are in the grips of a mental health crisis. Friends and family are often the overlooked links in the chain of survival...

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What You Need to Know about Mental Health Crisis Response Strategy -- An Interview with David Covington | Episode 4

When people are in the depths of a mental health crisis the last thing they need is a response that is based in fear. Having a crisis response strategy that is rooted in dignity and compassion can make all the difference. Join me in my interview with international visionary David Covington, who shares with us his journey in implementing crisis services from many leadership perspectives. David shares compelling science that challenges our misperceptions of what works and provides a roadmap for effective support for people in their darkest moments.

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Sally Spencer-Thomas
Storytelling and Suicide Prevention: An Interview with “THE S WORD” Movie Producer Lisa Klein | Episode 3

Effective storytelling is critical to the suicide prevention and suicide grief support efforts. Intimate, vulnerable, inspiring stories let us know we are not alone. Stories of recovery allow us to see a road map before us that leads us out of our despair.

In this podcast we talk with filmmaker Lisa Klein about why storytelling is so critical in effective suicide prevention. She shares with us her jou

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9 Best Tips for Effective Construction Suicide Prevention -- An Interview with Jorgen Gullestrup of MATES in Construction | Episode 2

Jorgen Gullestrup's LinkedIn profile lists him as a plumber and suicidologist from Brisbane, Australia. The truth is since 2007, he has helped revolutionize how the construction industry addresses suicide prevention, and his innovative strategies are now recognized internationally. Listen to his 9 top take-away tips from a decade of discovering best practices in moving an industry from awareness to action.

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