Entrepreneurs, take your mental health seriously because the life of your company depends on it!

Our guest today: Sally Spencer-Thomas, President of United Suicide Survivors International

Sally Spencer-Thomas is a clinical psychologist, inspirational international speaker and an impact entrepreneur. 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.

Today we discuss:

  • Why it is critical that you prioritize your mental health
  • The 3 components of a strong mental health practice that you can build into your company 

My entrepreneurial journey has been a plethora of highs and lows… At times:

  • Question my purpose
  • Question my judgement
  • Manifested extreme confidence followed by imposter syndrome

My saving grace: Having an outlet of physical & mental stimulation outside of business

  • Jiu jitsu

Challenge today?

  • Cannot let mental unwellness show to investors or competitors
  • Extreme self-reliance
  • Can not take a mental health day
  • When things go down it is on you 
  • When it crashes it is on you
  • A lot of pressure
  • Isolation: Tend to be lone rangers
  • Competition for funding, being first to market, 
  • Less likely to reach out for support
  • Evidence that we live on the bipolar spectrum, susceptible to maina: https://www.bphope.com/entrepreneurs-success-bipolar/ 

Why is this important to the company?

  • The entrepreneur is the essence of the company. 
  • You have to keep yourself well because it is on you
  • People’s holistic health keeps people engaged in the company
  • Talent will not stick around if they are not getting broader opportunities to find a passion for living beyond work

How do we build mental health practice into your company?

  • Appreciating that our mental wellbeing is part of our overall asset to the wellbeing of the company.
  • Understanding of your own mental health and how best to promote the wellbeing of others.
  • Upstream about driving a culture of care -- attract and retain talent, long-arc of productivity and success

Upstream - Building protective factors, resilience as strong at it can be -- modeling self-care

  • Eating, exercising, sleep
  • Having the a team of the ready
  • Front end your day with as much personal wellbeing investment as possible
  • Walking the dog touches many aspects of wellness

Midstream - Catching things early

Downstream - Where do we turn? Resources we have access to

Key Takeaways:

  • Commitment to investing in your health first
  • Check out when your brain is not sharp
  • Having a plan for crisis (personal)
  • Kick the tires of mental health resources before you need them


Guest website and social media platforms:


TEDx Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/sally_spencer_thomas_stopping_suicide_with_story

Entrepreneurs and mental health video: https://youtu.be/qrWbePKB-6A 

Article: Prevent start-up suicide. Literally. Entrepreneur. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/271435 

Article: Entrepreneurs And Suicide Risk: A New Perspective On Entrapment Provides Hope. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/prudygourguechon/2018/08/23/entrepreneurs-and-suicide-a-new-perspective-on-entrapment-gives-hope/?sh=2b2e3cbb5385 

Article: The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship. Inc. https://www.inc.com/magazine/201309/jessica-bruder/psychological-price-of-entrepreneurship.html

Carson’s story: https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/history/ 






Facebook @WorkplaceSuicidePrevention

Twitter @WorkSuicidePrev

Insta: @WorkplaceSuicidePrevention

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOjL6-clq63_G9X_F7Wp1mQ

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/40849573/admin/

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