Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,
I have so much to update you on. Although my career path was thrown off course (like so many people) due to the pandemic, I have finally begun down the road of creating my own business and working for myself. I am truly enjoying the opportunities and freedoms that being my own boss allows me while also struggling to learn how to be a business woman! While it is a major learning curve, I tend to enjoy challenges and I am overall having a great time.
Here’s a few of the things I have been up to:
Last summer I was asked to give a keynote speech on my concept of Soul Exhaustion for the Missouri State Suicide Prevention Conference in (you guessed it!) Missouri! It was my first time on an airplane since the outbreak of the pandemic and I came home with huge excitement about the reception I received and a fairly nasty case of Covid. I could have done with out the covid part, if I am being honest. After that, I was asked to give a keynote speech also on the Soul to ASIS (International Security) Boston Chapter. I am not going to lie to, I was terrified to get up in front of all security executives and talk about Mental Health & The Soul! I am proud to report that they were not only receptive but also incredibly kind in their feedback. Another great success for the Soul!
I then traveled to Copenhagen to attend the European Suicide Prevention Conference. Of course, as part of my Soul Care Plan, I scheduled in 3 days in Prague with my dear friend Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas where we ran away from ghosts, ate amazing food (best food I have had in Europe) and spent time being tourists. From there, we flew to Copenhagen where I spent nearly my entire time interviewing clinicians and researchers about the concept of the Soul. The results were stunning and have led to my digging deeper into the concept including rolling out a survey where 90% of our respondents reported that they believe in the Soul and defining it as the “deepest part of themselves”. I hope to have more exciting findings coming forth soon!
I was also very fortunate to be asked by Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas to assist in her work with Construction in New York. We spent 6 months guiding a group of companies in the construction industry through the National Suicide Prevention Workplace Guidelines. The first thing I found out was that the Construction Industry is as fun a group as any to work with and also that champions and heroes are all around us. We had our ups and downs (which is par for the course for any pilot) but overall, it was a great success.
At the end of December, I wrapped up my year long contract with the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke who was devastatingly impacted by the pandemic. I spent a year working with staff and developing a Recovery Team who then performed a Needs and Strengths Assessment for Recovery moving forward. While I am bound by contractual confidentiality and can not give details of the work, I can say that it was one of the most powerful experiences of my careers. I will never forget the incredible people and their deepest regard for those they care for. My experience there has motivated me to remain dedicated to workplace services with a special interest in the medical field, especially nursing facilities who were all deeply impacted and challenged by the pandemic.
I have also become a National Trainer for Psychological First Aid (PFA) and have been providing these trainings to Law Enforcement around Massachusetts as well as continuing to provide QPR and QPR Train The Trainers including at several universities (YEAH to Universities taking these big steps in suicide prevention!)
There’s more – but I don’t want to bore you into unsubscribing to my newsletter or dreading seeing my name pop up in your inbox 😊.
If you are interested in bringing any of my trainings or workshops to your community, organization, school or workplace, please see info on my website for some of my offerings sarahgaer.com and contact me at SarahGaer@Gmail.com.
I am looking forward to another year of meeting amazing people and doing the work that brings joy and purpose to my soul. I hope that each one of you have a healthy and fun New Year.
Sarah W. Gaer
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