I attended a fundraiser in Denver this past week that supported the Carson J Spencer Foundation. The foundation was formed by Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas to honor her brother Carson who lived with mental illness and eventually took his own life. Many attendees were impacted by suicide including the host, renowned photographer John Fielder, who lost his son to suicide in 2006. The Carson J Spencer Foundation is making a huge difference in prevention and of providing hope.
Although the evening was about the loss and tragedy of suicide, it was also about the triumph and resilience of the human spirit in the midst of illness and stigma. I was joined for the evening by Jeff Vankooten, one of the Invisible Disabilities Association’s (IDA) board members. Jeff has lived most of his life with bipolar disorder. I shared his thoughts here a few years ago in It’s All In Your Head.