Sally Spencer-Thomas ’89 presented a talk, “Be a Shining Light of Hope: Everyone Plays a Role in Suicide Prevention,” on Sept. 23, 2015, at Bowdoin College. As a clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, faculty member, consumer of mental health services and survivor of her brother’s suicide, Spencer-Thomas sees issues of suicide prevention and mental health promotion from many perspectives.

Spencer-Thomas is co-founder and CEO of the Colorado-based non-profit Carson J. Spencer Foundation, named after her brother, a Denver business leader who died by suicide after battling bipolar disorder. The Carson J. Spencer Foundation has helped spearhead initiatives including Man Therapy (, a partnership with Colorado’s Office of Suicide Prevention and the advertising firm, Cactus. Spencer Thomas is the President of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado and also holds leadership positions with the International Association of Suicide Prevention, American Association of Suicidology, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. She is the author of four books on mental health and has presented to national and international audiences on the topics of leadership, mental resiliency and suicide.