IASP Special Interest Group - Suicide and the Workplace

Co-Chairs

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas

Sally Spencer-Thomas

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas sees issues of suicide prevention and mental health promotion from a host of perspectives. Clinical psychologist. Mental health advocate. Faculty member. Researcher. And suicide loss survivor.

She has earned an international reputation as an entrepreneur and innovator in social change. Along the way, she’s helped establish many large-scale, gap-filling mental health efforts, including Man Therapy (www.ManTherapy.org) and National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

She has held leadership roles with the International Association of Suicide Prevention, the American Association of Suicidology, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, United Suicide Survivors International, and the Carson J Spencer Foundation. In 2016, she was invited to speak at the White House on men’s mental health.

She has won multiple awards for her advocacy including the 2015 Farberow Award from the International Association of Suicide Prevention, the 2014 Survivor of the Year from the American Association of Suicidology, the 2014 Invisible Disabilities Association Impact Honors Award, and the 2012 Alumni Master Scholar from the University of Denver.

She received her undergraduate degree in psychology and studio art from Bowdoin College, her Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver.

Carmen Betterridge

Carmen Betterridge

Carmen is Director and Principal Psychologist with Suicide Risk Assessment Australia, a national provider of training, supervision and consultation services specific to suicide prevention and workplace psychological safety. She is an innovator, developing solutions for occupational rehabilitation providers, workplaces and mental health providers alike, not only to respond to suicidality, but prevent psychological injury and limit the introduction and impact of psychological hazards in the workforce.

Carmen is Senior Researcher and Sessional Lecturer with Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention (Griffith University), and under Jacinta Hawgood, is a Facilitator of the Screening Tool Assessing Risk of Suicide (STARS).




The Workplace Special Interest Group is co-facilitated by Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas and Carmen Betteriedge with support from Early Career Group member Brian Stefan. To date we have 48 international members:

- 31% Australia
- 19% Canada
- 13% USA
- 10% Asia
- 10% Europe
- 3% South America
- 10% Unknown

The four main objectives and related accomplishments for the SIG are:

1) To expand scholarship exploring suicide and workplace issues;

-28 professional conference and meeting presentations in five countries reported

-9 peer reviewed journal articles reported

Over $1M (Australian) in grant funding secured

2) To develop model policies and protocols for workplaces to adapt;

-New efforts in the US for National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention underway (partnership among the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and United Suicide Survivors International)

3) To share promising practices of suicide prevention programs and training;

-New Construction Suicide Prevention efforts in the US: Construction Working Minds www.ConstructionWorkingMinds.org and the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention preventconstructionsuicide.com

4)To develop a community of researchers and practitioners interested in workplace suicide prevention.

-Podcasts, webinars and blogs emerging highlighting workplace suicide prevention efforts.


Browse this link to find: Suicide and the Workplace Resources


Suicide & The Workplace -- Globalization, Job Strain, and the Dark Side of the New Economy: Interview with Dr. Allison Milner | Episode 30

EMPLOYEE WELLBEING 2019 Protected: A global effort in workplace health and safety: suicide prevention


If you would like to be a part of this Special Interest Group, please contact Sally Spencer-Thomas for more information, e-mail: SallySpencerThomas@Gmail.com