Cheryl has personal experience with many different types of trauma, depression/anxiety and suicide due to being an attempt survivor in her early 20’s, losing friends and family to suicide, living with autoimmune disease, witnessing violence regularly as a child/youth, working with suicidal clients, and many others. Her mother’s murder at the age of 18 sent her into a tailspin that almost led to her own death, but thankfully ended up transforming her into helping others even more. This variety pack of experiences has helped her to relate & connect with people in very unique ways. Cheryl’s years of dedication to learning and cultivating her spiritual beliefs have taken her from being bedridden to living with intention!
In 2018, Cheryl became Certified in the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Program (ASIST). She has specialized training in suicide assessments using evidence-based tools and continuously attends local trainings and maintains continuing education in suicide prevention for youth and adults. She equally dedicates herself to trauma-responsive training and holistic approaches to trauma healing.
Cheryl loves to create successful mental health alternative programs for youth and currently started a new youth (ages 13-18) program for the SAM – Supporting Action for Mental Health in Longmont, CO! She has volunteered with local suicide prevention workgroups to help serve LGBTQIA youth and helping the faith community to be more connected & educated in prevention efforts. She even started a nonprofit for youth and families promoting holistic mental wellness. Cheryl currently serves on the Youth Suicide Prevention Committee, Impacted Family & Friends Division and the Lived Experience Division for AAS / American Association of Suicidology.
She is grateful to recently being asked to serve as the Colorado Team Coordinator for the Impacted Family & Friends Division Program – ‘ A Voice at the Table’. This is a call to action, to openly welcome the voice of the healed suicide attempt survivor to the suicide prevention and education table.
Cheryl has been a guest speaker and instructor over the years in the areas of mental health, complicated grief, and trauma. Since 2018, she has been a guest speaker sharing about her trauma and suicide attempt survivor story and will continue due to her strong belief that those with lived experience can help change the landscape of mental health and suicide prevention. She was silenced for 21 years, but no more. She believes trauma & suicide is everyone’s business and we need to promote human connection more than ever before! She will continue to be a voice for those suffering in silence. She encourages others with lived experience to share their stories as well – when they are ready and in their own way – and helps to guide and empower them to share at public events along with her or on their own.