Cheryl has a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix, SLC, UT, a Bachelors in Exercise Science from Ball State University, Muncie, IN, Certified in ASIST / Applied Suicide Intervention Skills, and a Certified Level 4 Energy Healer. For over 16 years, she has been a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and worked with ages 12 and up, couples & families. She has worked with youth and adults for over 30 years in a variety of settings that include grief support groups after the loss of a loved one to sudden death/suicide or murder, created suicide prevention experiential groups, ER crisis worker, foster care, drug court, youth story slams, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, camp counselor, and coaching high school basketball & volleyball.
She blended her private practice for several years in the Parker, CO area using a combination of traditional and holistic counseling and saw incredible results! Building community and offering many forms of expression allowed her clients to feed their body, mind & soul.
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, supporting family members who have had a suicidal crisis and/or attempt, living and thriving 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 and holistic mental wellness for youth and adults. She equally dedicates herself to trauma-responsive training and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Cheryl 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 Impacted Family & Friends Division and the Attempt Survivor / Lived Experience Division for (AAS) American Association of Suicidology.
She is grateful to serve as the Colorado Coordinator for the AAS Impacted Family & Friends Division and offer evidence-based, trauma-informed, peer2peer wellness workshops for suicide attempt & loss survivors and impacted family members further along the healing path. These workshops were created by Annemarie Matulis from 'A Voice at the Table' to allow for more human connection, break down the silos, promote diversity, equity and inclusion, and build resilience.
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. Her brave son Nathan and family were recently featured in the 2021 MTV Documentary 'Each and Every Day' highlighting the stories of suicide attempt survivors and/or those who had a suicidal crisis.
She was silenced for 21 years, but no more.
Cheryl believes trauma & suicide is everyone's business and we MUST promote human connection more than ever before to create healing! 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. She helps to guide and empower survivors to share at public events along with her OR on their own.
We are all wounded but have the capacity to heal and transform our pain into wisdom and strength by igniting our own inner healer.
Allowing yourself to create more human connection in your life along with nurturing your body/mind/spirit ~ you find a sense of belongingness and learn you are capable of more than you can imagine!
Let's connect and begin your path to healing.
Colorado Coordinator for
AAS Impacted Family & Friends Division
The essence of my survivor story....
Speaking Events & Community Involvement
Cheryl has shared her lived experience and professional experience
at workshops, community events and on several podcasts & Twitter Chats that include:
- American Association of Suicidology Hybrid Conference 2021
Keynote: 'My Lived Experience Evolution'
- MTV Documentary 'Each and Every Day'
- our son shares his brave suicide survivor story along with our family being a part of it as well
- Hope Rising for Suicide Prevention Virtual Summit 2020
Keynote 'Speaker of Hope'
- American Association of Suicidology Virtual Conference 2020
Impacted Family & Friends Panel:
Filling the Gap - Implementing Support for Impacted Families & Friends
- Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County
11th Annual LifeSaver's Breakfast 2019
- Supporting Action for Mental Health -
Many More Tomorrows 2019
- 8th Annual NOCO Gifted Community /
Roots of Resiliency 2019
- The David Bryson Podcast
"Why Can't You!" 2019
- SPSMchat (Suicide Prevention Social Media)
- Anatomy in Clay Workshops 2019
- Thrill Talk Podcast 2018
- Mental Health Matters Workshop / Larimer County, CO 2018
Imagine Zero Suicide Prevention Coalition -
Shattering the Silence Event 2018