@StackUpDotOrg chats with #SPSM about using #VideoGames to unite #Veterans and #civilians, 2/18/18, 9pCT

Guests from StackUp chat with #SPSM about the use of gaming and gaming communities to improve mental wellness in Veterans, 2/18/18, 9pCT.

December 2016, StackUp announced the launch of a suicide prevention effort: The StackUp Overwatch Program (StOP). This is a volunteer effort to ensure there are StackUp gamers who are ready, 24/7/365, with some gatekeeper training, to provide support to other StackUp community members in crisis. Volunteers can apply on-line here.

StackUp has a several core efforts related to mental health, such deploying “supply crates” of video games and nerd swag to troops. And, of course, a 24/7 livestream on Twitch, which is one of the social media trends you’ll be hearing more about this year.

StackUp believes that both the act of gaming, and the social connections between gamers can help Veterans recover their mental health. They are also interested in building a suicide safer digital community.

Watch us LIVE here:


Stephanie “BettiePageGaming” Owens has been heavily involved in the online gaming community for well over 10 years. She has created and managed several gaming communities, hosted gaming tournaments and written many articles. She currently serves as Stack Up’s Executive Administrator and Director of the Stacks and StOP Program’s and also the Stack Co-Leader for Hazlet, NJ.

Stephanie became involved with Stack Up because of her love for community service, video gaming, and her forefathers service to our country dating back to the American Revolution. Stephanie was an EMT for many years, serving her local community in New Jersey. She is certified in several areas of Veteran service related issues such as PTSD, Suicide in the Military, Veterans Affairs and Military Culture.

Stephanie’s knowledge of veterans issues, social media, community engagement, community building and volunteering are just a few of the things she brings to the table to further Stack Up’s mission supporting the next great generation of veterans.

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Shock Docs: #SPSM chats about the history of #suicide prevention, #Dollop podcast style, 2/11/18, 9pCT

SPSM chats about the history of suicide prevention, inspired by Bart and Chris’s favorite podcast, “The Dollop,” 2/11/18, 9pCT.

The Dollop is an American history podcast, using humor and a conversational style to help listeners engage in a topic they might mistakenly think is dry. It’s a good model for how difficult or “distant” topics can be made approachable for the general public (which has nifty implications for people who do media about suicide).

What topic will Bart choose? It’s a secret, and even Chris can’t know ahead of time. That’s part of the fun!

Here are a couple of Dollops they recommend:

Episode 222

Episode 271

Episode 150

Watch us LIVE here:



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How today’s #SuperBowl can prevent #suicide: #SPSM chats 2/4/18, 9pCT

“Pulling Together” during major sports events (like tonight’s Super Bowl) seems to have a noticeable impact on lowering a suicide rate in a specific location. SPSM chats about this, 2/4/18, 9pCT. Go, Pats! Go Eagles!

Tune into SPSM, LIVE, as the Super Bowl is wrapping up. We’ll be chatting about the game, and how fandom, social engagement, and group affinity may be keeping people alive tonight.

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#SPSM chats about #Avatar based #suicide risk assessment and intervention training, 1/28/18, 9pCT

SPSM chats about avatar based training simulations for suicide risk assessment and intervention training, 1/27/18, 9pCT.

SPSM is no stranger to discussing avatar based digital experiences. Discussing early applications of virtual therapy environments in Second Life, chatting with Dr. Melissa Pinto about virtual primary care visit experiences, or participating in AAS panels on the impact of digital media on the future of suicide prevention…this is a topic on our minds.

In fact, you can watch a nifty video demo by one of @DocForeman’s co-panelists (or even try one out):

Avatar based simulation learning addresses core training issues in suicide prevention related to scale and training portability. However, creating these trainings is a complex process, with significant front loading of costs, and requires a multi-disciplinary team, including:

  1. Subject matter experts (inclusive of Lived Expertise)
  2. Training and accreditation experts
  3. Digital designers
  4. System/platform administration
  5. Media/deployment/strategy experts

Watch us chat about this LIVE here:

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#SPSM chats about lessons learned from @LoganPaul, @Boogie2988, and others: 1/21/18, 9pCT. #suicide #socialmedia #mhsm

#SPSM chats about Logan Paul, and how he (unintentionally) has changed how major social media platforms handle the topic of suicide, 1/21/18, 9pCT.

Interestingly, it wasn’t suicide prevention media guidelines that led to Logan Paul’s apology about showing the corpse of someone who died by suicide in a Japanese forest known as a destination for people who want to take their lives.

While official leadership at YouTube waited 4 days to make the decision to remove this  video, and took weeks to announce decisions to sever ties with Logan Paul, it was actually immediate and overwhelming public backlash about his grossly inappropriate use of the corpse of a person who died by suicide just to get social media views.

Social media, is, at it’s heart, *social*. In this case it was the overwhelming public consciousness about the seriousness of suicide and mental health challenges that led to the backlash, and severe public and professional consequences for both Logan Paul, as well as YouTube. In fact there are community “standards,” often informal and just socially understood, that seemed to pressure the removal of this video, led to increased efforts YouTube, Google, and others to improve strategies for responsible coverage of suicide on social media.

With more people “coming out” about their lived experience of suicide, in fact, many people responded with social media about suicide that was actually inspiring. Like this:

Watch us LIVE here:

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 4.38.45 PM

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#ProjectClarence 2017: #SPSM chats #thumbnails, and #holiday #suicide myths, 12/10/17, 9pCT

Project Clarence Thumbnail 2#SPSM brings back #ProjectClarence for it’s FIFTH YEAR, 9pCT. We’ll be chatting about simple ways you can use thumbnails to increase traffic on your video content. All you need are tools like PicMonkey or Canva, and to remember the secret numbers: 1920 X 1080!

As you know, #ProjectClarence is a nod to Clarence the Angel, in “It’s a Wonderful Life” the holiday movie classic that has forever cemented the relationship of Christmas and Suicide Prevention. Whatever you celebrate this season, #ProjectClarence is a time to road test 1 new social media skill for the few weeks of hiatus, until our first show of 2018 (1/22/18, 9pCT).

This year we’ll be discussing how we’re using video thumbnails to increase traffic to your suicide prevention video content. Maybe you’ll make a video that  dispels myths about the holidays and suicide (historically the period of the year with the LOWEST suicide mortality rates in the US). Make a #ProjectClarence thumbnail and be sure to tag #SPSM!

We’ll go from SPSM YouTube thumbnails that look like this (OUCH!):

bad thumnail

To this:

Project Clarence Thumbnail 2


Watch us LIVE here:

If you want to find past years’ episodes of #ProjectClarence, check out our blogs, listed below:

#ProjectClarence 2013

#ProjectClarence 2014

#ProjectClarence 2015

#ProjectClarence 2016


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@SFreedenthal chats with #SPSM, 12/3/17, 9pCT.

Dr. Stacy Freedenthal chats with #SPSM about how she uses social media to outreach both clinicians and people with lived experience with her published clinical expertise with suicidality , 12/3/17, 9pCT.

Check out some of her most favorite blog posts here:

Notably, these are different from her most popular blog posts:

Folks who order her new book from Routledge will get a 20% discount if they use the code IRK71 before Dec. 31, 2017https://www.routledge.com/Helping-the-Suicidal-Person-Tips-and-Techniques-for-Professionals/Freedenthal/p/book/9781138946958

And, of course, you can always order from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Helping-Suicidal-Person-Techniques-Professionals/dp/1138946958/

Watch her LIVE here:


Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, writes extensively about suicide. Her book, Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals, was published in September by Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis. Almost 2 million people have visited her website, SpeakingOfSuicide.com since 2013. She also has published scholarly articles about the measurement of suicidal intent, youth’s help-seeking when suicidal, and other topics related to suicidality. (For more information about her book, see HelpingTheSuicidalPerson.com.)

As an associate professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, Dr. Freedenthal teaches courses on mental health assessment, counseling, and suicide risk assessment and interventions. She also has a private psychotherapy and consulting practice specializing in helping people who have experienced suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, or lost a loved one to suicide.

Dr. Freedenthal has worked in the field of suicide prevention since 1994, when she volunteered at a suicide hotline. She has become intimately acquainted with suicide not only through her professional training, research, and the stories of her clients, but also through her own personal struggles with suicide, some of which she wrote about in The New York Times. Prior to entering the mental health field, Dr. Freedenthal worked as a newspaper reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She later earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

She lives in Englewood, CO, with her husband, teenage son, and their cats.

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