I am going to give you a little bit of a taste of our upcoming summit that is happening from July 11, to the 24th. I am so thrilled that all of these amazing speakers have joined me to talk about healing after suicide.
That, of course, is the title of the summit. I of course am hosting. And I invite you to join me and the other amazing speakers that are going to be speaking there at the summit and listen to their interviews that they have graciously interviewed with me. And I’m just so thrilled that they said yes, I couldn’t do this summit without them. I am forever grateful. And we’re just going to have a conversation about suicide and how we can heal after losing a loved one to suicide. And we’re also going to mention suicide prevention, and how we can play an active role in preventing suicide.
This Year’s Healing After Suicide Summit
I am going to start with myself. I am the host of this year’s summit healing after suicide summit. I am the CEO and founder of scattering hope for those of you that don’t know and my mission as scattering help is to help those families and people who have lost a loved one to suicide begin to heal. And the sister company that I created in my sister’s honor and then her memory is called Owl and Thistle. Owl and Thistle mission is to let the people know and our life how much they are loved. And by doing so you can ultimately save their life.
My heart behind both companies truly began the day before my 32nd birthday in 2019. When my sister Gina had taken her life, we were completely devastated as a family. We were absolutely heartbroken. And it was shortly thereafter my sister’s passing that I really felt compelled and inspired to help others going through a similar journey. And thus scattering help was born out of the soul and was inspired afterward. And it focuses on suicide prevention and really giving not just me but other people the opportunity to be able to say and tell the people in our lives, how much they matter and how much they are loved. And when you are able to do that you can ultimately save their life.
The Healing After Suicide Summit Speakers
I am just so thrilled to be presenting this summit. Again. I’m just so excited and I invite you to join me so let’s continue while I introduce the other speakers. Here are our speakers:
Stacey Seuferer – Stacy is a mental health advocate, life coach, and consultant she helps others see the bigger picture by changing their mindset and goal setting, be it for business or personal. She has an extensive background in recruiting administrative and marketing strategies. Her coaching is set to a tone that vibes with what you are needing.
Gary Hibbert – He is a full-time real estate investor and a licensed and award-winning real estate agent, author, and educator in 2008. He made a decision that would be life-changing by purchasing his first investment property through hard work and dedication. Gary left the corporate world to become a full-time entrepreneur in 2014. Today, not only does he have a remarkable real estate investing portfolio and successful businesses, Gary continually inspires the same change that transformed his life and others.
Sarah Cain-Da-Costa – Sara is a national board certified health and wellness coach, a yoga and meditation teacher, retreat leader, podcaster, and co-founder of RisingStrongHer and her is spelled out H E R. Her personal wellness and mental health journey began in 1998 and is founded on a deep personal understanding of the power of food yoga, meditation, and natural healthy living and using it to heal.
Steve Bisson – Steve was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. He moved to Massachusetts in 1999. To pursue his dream of working in the mental health field. He has been a therapist for 17 years and has owned his private practice, which is straight-to-the-point therapy since 2011 and has practiced telehealth therapy since 2015. Trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, Steve has worked in diverse fields including community outpatient services, the criminal justice field, and as a member of the mental health crisis team as well as a trainer for first responders and correctional staff on mental health and substance abuse. He is also trained in EMDR. Steve also has processed trauma and bereavement issues throughout his career. When not working Steve enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his two daughters into caps.
Sadie Thompson – Sadie Thompson has been working for 16 years in the wellness and recovery fields. She’s taught mindfulness skills and meditation techniques to individuals and agencies for the last 10 years. Her recovery journey has led her to become the co-author of the State Certified PEERiodical Peer Support Training of Nebraska, The Wellbeing Initiative, Inc. Provider Employee Training Manual, and The Whole Health Employment Support and Training Program. Sadie Thompson is also a part of the Chief Executive Team at The Wellbeing Initiative, Inc. and has experience in executive leadership, networking, and employee career development. Her lived experience with mental health, substance use, homelessness, overdose, and suicide fuels her passion to end stigma and support others on their personal paths to recovery.
Mequell Buck – Mequell Buck is an author, public speaker, suicide survivor and podcaster who has lived with mental illness for over 20 years. She and her husband Adam host a podcast called Thriving with Mental Illness that is “real talk” all of the conversations she wishes they could have had with someone way back when. She has been married to her guy for 25 years and they have 3 kids who are all taller than she is. Mequell has a very happy home and family life not ‘in spite of’ but specifically because of mental illness. She can be found rock climbing crazy routes with her son, trail running or sitting around the table laughing with her family and eating good food. (Costco bought not homemade, don’t be crazy)
Rev. Dr. Marisha Stewart – Rev. Dr. Marisha Stewart is a licensed minister, encourager, author, counselor, motivational speaker, influencer, professor, divorce coach and podcaster dedicated helping women recognize the worth of their crown. She is best known for the Lioness Queen christian podcast, Lioness Queen YouTube channel, virtual monthly “I Am Series” Women’s Empowerment sessions and Lioness Queen Inspiration online Christian radio station.
Dr. Marcy Larson – Growing up with both of her parents and her grandparents battling cancer, Marcy grew to understand suffering during her adolescent years. She felt drawn to a career in medicine after witnessing the many medical staff help treat her own family. After the deaths of her grandmother, mother, and grandfathers, she thought that she truly understood grief. Marcy married, Eric, an anesthesiologist, and became a mother to four children – three biological and one foster son. Marcy loved being a working mother and general pediatrician. Life changed, though in August 2018, when their mini-van was rear-ended, and her middle son, Andy, was killed instantly. Suddenly, Marcy realized that, despite her past, she actually knew very little about true grief. After losing Andy, her passion for caring for families changed. Her new focus was to care for bereaved parents, inspiring her to start a weekly podcast, ’Losing a Child: Always Andy’s Mom’. Now over 130 episodes later, the podcast and her website, alwaysandysmom.com offers hope and healing to bereaved parents everywhere.
Reid Peterson – Reid Peterson is the Creator of Grief Refuge. He achieved his Masters’s Degree in Transpersonal Psychology (Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 2007) and is certified in Death & Grief Studies by the Center for Loss & Life Transition. After losing his biological father to suicide in 2006 and his stepfather to cancer in 2016, Reid felt a calling to help the grieving find peace and purpose after the loss.
Wendy Swanson – Wendy is a yoga & meditation teacher, board-certified licensed acupuncturist, international retreat leader, published writer, and the former owner of Be Yoga & Wellness. Wendy is intuitive, open-hearted, and down-to-earth. Wendy is the co-founder of Rising StrongHER, wellness for women over 40. Learn more about her at: risingstrongher.com or wendyswanson.com.
Dr. Anna Esparham – Dr. Anna Esparham, MD (Dr. Anna for short!) is a triple-board certified physician in integrative medicine, pediatrics, and medical acupuncture. She founded Health Is PowHer to help women awaken their best selves. Dr. Anna has helped thousands of women and children heal and recover from chronic conditions and has first-hand experience with a multitude of chronic health issues. She believes that we have more power to heal than we ever thought possible.
Willie Dove Sr. – Dove’s Dog Academy is a lifelong dream of founder and General Manager, Willie Dove Sr. Willie’s parents instilled core values at a young age: Family, Honesty, Compassion, and Grace, and a This Too Shall Pass Attitude. As a father to four awesome kids, and married to the love of his life, Willie works to keep his family values present in his everyday life. Willie is a Certified Dog Trainer & Groomer and sits on the Board of Dove’s Care Club, a non-profit organization that dedicates time to the community.
Marelda Rodrigues – Marelda Rodrigues, FMCHC, CNMT, is a Grief Massage Therapist, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, author, speaker, traveler, and culinary enthusiast, with over 20 years of experience in the health and wellness space. Through Grief Massage Therapy, Marelda helps her clients feel comforted when they are most vulnerable, allows them the space to navigate emotional unknowns of grief and loss, and gain control one step at a time. Marelda’s wellness coaching programs help clients with mindset, food and lifestyle habits vital to staying healthy, adapting to losses, and building emotional resilience. Her clients emerge from their transformation feeling revitalized, confident, and powerful.
Laurel Wilson – Laurel Wilson was born and raised in Denver, CO. She received her bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Oklahoma State University. She now resides in Oklahoma City with her wonderful husband of 3 years Ethan and their 2-year-old boy Pryce. After graduating, Laurel worked in the event planning industry for over four years. Laurel Wilson is the Bestselling co-author of the book ‘Keep Looking Up: Transforming Grief into Hope After Tragedy.’Laurel Wilson grew up in a loving home and family life with her mom as a successful Entrepreneur and dad as a corporate salesman living the typical American life. Laurel’s world unexpectedly tipped upside down when away in college she lost her father to suicide with no explanation and three years later she lost her brother the same way. Laurel realized that she has a choice with these tragedies, to give in to the grief or to fuel her own reason to live. Laurel’s mission stems from her own experience with loss and adversity, so she decided to use these tragedies to bring some good into the world by creating a positive guide for those who are suffering from loss and for those close to them. Laurel Wilson now travels the country and the world both to live and virtual events helping men and women personally and professionally by giving them the courage to dig deep and to focus on ‘What Is’ instead of the ‘What if’s.’
Tricia Zody – In 2017, after the tragic death of her husband of 30 years, Tricia found herself in a place of despair, overwhelm, and vulnerability. Leaning on her faith in God, she used journaling as a means of processing the deep grief. Those journal entries became the foundation of her podcast, Another Beautiful Life. Tricia believed that the podcast would be a cathartic way for her to heal personally but found that people from all walks of life were benefiting from the very real, very raw accounts of her journey to healing. People from across the United States began reaching out to her for counsel and advice, which birthed her Life Coaching business, Another Beautiful Life Coaching for Christian women. Tricia is a certified Life Coach through The Life Coach School and finds it a privilege to help others create Another Beautiful Life after loss, transition, or life change, just as she did.
Budy Jamie Whitfield – Budy (Beauty) Jamilly Whitfield is a Licensed Latinx Psychotherapist with over 16 years of experience in the mental health and non for profit sector. Jamilly holds an MSW from Fordham University. In 2019 she established Beauteous Me, Corp. and Beauteous Mind LCSW PLLC in 2021 with the intention of creating a healing space for professionals to let go of FEAR and live a purpose driven life. Aside from providing coaching, therapy and leading a non-for profit program, she is a speaker, leadership consultant, trainer, advocate of mental health, content creator, podcaster, wife, mom and creative. Jamilly has been featured on various podcasts platforms. Jamilly’s podcast and social media platform motivates you to grow from a place of inadequacy to resiliency.
Rev. Karla Kamstra – Rev. Karla is an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister who helps people live their spiritual truth, heal from religious trauma and connect to the Divine through sacred soul work. Since becoming ordained in 2017, she have offered spiritual care through in-person sessions, video conferencing and small group sessions. Recently, she made the decision to focus entirely online, as our country navigates a pandemic, by embracing the age of digital technology for human connection.
Gwen Kapcia – Gwen Kapcia is a licensed social worker in the state of Michigan and holds a certification in Thanatology, the study of death, dying and bereavement. She has spent her entire career in grief and loss, spanning from hospice care, funeral home aftercare support, and Program Director at Starlight Ministries. She knows what grief feels like for her but most of her experiences come from walking alongside thousands of bereaved individuals who bravely taught her about grief. Along with directing 6 camps for bereaved children, she has co-authored a faith based curriculum for bereaved children and adults. She is a wife, mother of 3 adult children, and lives in Portland, Michigan and is active in her church. In September of 2020 she launched Your Grief Guide, which supports bereaved individuals and provides training for those supporting them. Through online classes, virtual checkpoints and educational presentations we aim to convey and normalize the reactions to loss. Please visit grief-guide.com.
Sara Cobb – Sara J. Cobb is the Founder of My Grief Connection, a hub of grief resources and a growing support community. My Grief Connection aims to empower grievers to find resources, connect to the community, and grow hope, by guiding them toward their personal healing path. Sara felt called to connect fellow grievers with resources to find hope and healing after loss following the tragic deaths of her two older brothers, 43 years apart – one by a freak accident and one in a murder-suicide. Her passion and advocacy for grief literacy and mental health education grew from a combination of her interests, strengths, and life experiences. In the fall of 2021, she returned to university to pursue a Master’s of Science in Counseling Education with a focus on Clinical Mental Health Counseling in grief, crisis, and trauma. Sara is also the co-leader of a virtual support group for survivors of murder-suicide loss. To connect with Sara, visit www.mygriefconnection.org, follow and/or DM her on Instagram at @my_grief_connection, like the @mygriefconnection page on Facebook, check out the My Grief Connection YouTube channel, or email her at email@example.com.
Megan Hillukka – Megan Hillukka is a bereaved mother, with 7 children, one of who died at 15 months old. Megan encourages and supports grieving mothers that though the worst thing has happened to them, their life is not over. She helps moms learn how to process and move through the emotions of grief, and provides a place of safety and compassion within grief so that they too can feel themselves again and hope for their future.
Katie Miller – Katie Miller is one of the co-founders and the assistant director of the Teen Suicide Prevention Society. When her sister broke the silence of her suicide attempts, Katie was surprised that she only had vague memories of the initial attempt and no recollection of any others. What she does recall was something different. What she does recall was how hard, or impossible, it was to talk to her parents or her friends’ parents about “the hard stuff” and what was going on. When Katie became a mom herself, she knew things were going to be different. Katie had one main rule when it came to her son: he could talk to her about anything without judgment or fear of consequences. Now he is a teenager, and this “judgment-free” house is something his friends are grateful for.
Megan L Young – Coach Megan Young has been an observer of human behavior all her life which fueled her quest for self-discovery. After she created, what she thought was the life she had always wanted, she discovered it wasn’t what she really needed. Enter in her first life coaching after graduating college. This helped her discover her career path out of college, plan a vision for the future, follow her heart in love, and more importantly piece together her life after the loss of her sister. Without these experiences, she would not be able to help others the way she can now. Through her own grief journey and working with clients, Coach Megan has created a guide for those who have had their life turned upside down through death. The Life After Loss Workbook was created to help people through their first year of grief (although this book is useful at any point in one’s journey), Life After Loss has guided lessons and exercises that help you actively work through loss In this workbook there are five chapters dedicated to helping you understand your grief and start enjoying life again. Megan Young now attributes her client’s success to the open hearts and minds they come to her with. It is within the pain and confusion that you can seek answers, comfort, and an understanding of your grief that will help you live life again.
And that as a wrap that is all of our amazing speakers that you can tune into and listen in to their amazing interviews. I welcome you to the healing after suicide Summit. From my heart to yours. I wish you peace. May this summit bring you peace, may you be able to connect with other fellow gravers that have lost a loved one to suicide and being able to lock arms together and say that we can do this is my prayer for this summit. And I welcome you again. I’m so truly honored to be hosting this beautiful event. And a special thank you to the speakers who have said yes. And who are joining me at this summit.
You can purchase your ticket below and the event itself is free so no need to spend any money on that regard for your ticket. We have also created a special bonus package, if you will, called the healing after suicide pass. It’s a healing pack asked that includes a workbook, and a special brunch-style Q&A with our fabulous speakers on Sundays. I would welcome you to that as well and it will be available for purchase. When you register to come take a look at the summit.
Always Remember You Are Loved 💜
P.S. For more information about suicide prevention, be sure to check out owlandthistle.com. That’s owl as in the bird who and if you’re coping with the loss of a loved one due to suicide, we’ve been there too. And for more information, check out our sister company found at scatteringhope.com Please like and subscribe to this program to stay current with all of our episodes. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Owl and Thistle and Facebook and Instagram for Scattering Hope. As always remember you are loved.