Thursday, October 8, 2015

Healthy Men Have Healthy Minds: A Forum to Engage Men in Dialogue about Mental Health

By Emily Alvarez

In 2013, Colorado ranked 7th in the nation for suicide rates, a persistent trend shared by other states in the West. Men continue to account for more than 75% of the deaths by suicide in Colorado and contributing factors to this are divorce, depression, isolation, and substance abuse. The 1st annual Men’s Mental Health Forum is there to ask the question “why?” and begin to discuss some answers. The Mental Health Forum called Healthy Men Have Healthy Minds: A Forum to Engage Men in Dialogue about Mental Health is supported by the Carson J Spencer Foundation, contributing co-founder of Man Therapy (, and Sondermind, whole person wellness. The forum will take place on Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 2:15 – 5:00 pm in the Russell Pavilion at the St. Joseph’s Hospital. Tickets are $25 until 11/6 and $40 afterward. For more information, visit or contact Sally Spencer-Thomas at or (720) 244-6535.
The forum features two keynote speakers: Josh Levs and Andrew O’Brien. Josh Levs is an investigative journalist formerly with CNN and NPR, an expert on issues facing modern families and author of All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses--And How We Can Fix It Together. Levs will be talking about what modern life is doing to dads’ mental health. Andrew O’Brien is an Iraq war veteran and suicide attempt survivor. After being lucky enough to wake up after his attempt, Andrew decided to make a difference for all communities suffering from suicide. O’Brien will be sharing lessons learned in resiliency.

“Mental health is just like any other part of health. It's time to drop the stigmas and have public conversations about the stresses and challenges men are facing,” said Josh Levs, keynote speaker. “This is why All In explores health issues facing men in both body and mind.  It's also why I open up about my own experiences.”

The goals of the forum are to let men know they are not alone when feeling overwhelmed, stressed or depressed, to educate participants about men-friendly mental health and support resources, and to build a community of men who are interested in supporting other men going through life challenges. Other subjects that will be discussed during the forum are work-life balance, stress management, living with a mental health condition, rebuilding your life after divorce, and tools for recovery.

“For a man to be the strongest and most present father, partner, employee, friend and family member, strong mental health is paramount,” said Jarrod Hindman, Violence and Suicide Prevention Section Manager at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Owning when we need a mental health tune-up is a strength, and now is the time to make it the norm

Immediately following the forum, there will be the 4th annual Guy’s Night Out held at Casselman’s Bar and Venue from 5:30 – 9:00 pm on November 19th. Here men can mingle with local music and sports celebrities at the VIP reception, sip bourbon, eat BBQ and even get their golf swing analyzed – all in the name of supporting an innovative approach to men’s mental health. Tickets are $100 for just Guy’s Night Out or $115 if combined with the Mental Health Forum. For more information, visit

Proceeds from Guys Night Out go to the Carson J Spencer Foundation and the Man Therapy™ campaign ( aimed at using humor to prevent suicide for working-aged men. By using compelling and innovative media, Dr. Rich Mahogany (a fictional therapist), the focal point of an innovative campaign called “Man Therapy,™” reshapes the conversation, using manly approaches to cut through stigma and tackle issues like depression, divorce and even suicidal thoughts head on, the way a man would do it. An additional beneficiary is Project Sanctuary (, a non-profit supporting military families through therapeutic retreats.

Guy’s Night Out video from 2013:

Register now, as there is limited seating for the forum. To register and learn more about the speakers and the event, visit Contact Sally Spencer-Thomas at or (720) 244-6535 with any questions.


About the Carson J Spencer Foundation - Sustaining a Passion for Living
The Carson J Spencer Foundation ( is a Colorado nonprofit, established in 2005.  We envision a world where leaders and communities are committed to sustaining a passion for living. We sustain a passion for living by:

  • Delivering innovative and effective suicide prevention programs for working-aged people
  • Coaching young leaders to develop social enterprises for mental health promotion and suicide prevention
  • Supporting people bereaved by suicide