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Carson J Spencer Foundation

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Mental Health Advocacy Through the Arts

Denver, CO, January 08, 2008 --( On March 21, 2006, J.T. Fielder, the oldest child and only son of Colorado’s beloved nature photographer John Fielder took his life on top of a windy 13,000 foot peak. Two years later, John Fielder is honoring his son’s life by being the spokesperson for a unique program that examines the intersection between suicide, mental health and healing through the arts. The Carson J Spencer Foundation invites caring citizens to enjoy an evening with John Fielder by attending the opening night of the Mirrors and Metaphors Art Exhibit at 6:30PM on February 8, 2008 at the Access Gallery (909 Santa Fe, Denver; tickets are $50).

John Fielder’s work will be one of the main focal points of this multi-layered exhibit. He has chosen to donate an image of the high alpine ridge above Butler Gulch near Empire, Colorado – a photograph that was made on a ski visit with his friends to the place J.T. died. John Fielder hope that those who see the image will be touched by the view that is infinite and sublime and will remember and celebrate the life of his remarkable son.

John Fielder is joining a growing group of citizens making a difference on suicide prevention in Colorado. Suicide is a significant public health issue in this state:
• Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15-34 year olds in Colorado, after unintentional injuries
• Males are 70% more likely to take their lives than females
• In 2005, traffic accidents in Colorado killed 662 people, whereas 795 people died by suicide
• Nationally Colorado leads the nation in suicide and ranks 33rd in the nation for state funding of mental health and last in funding for substance abuse.

“The first step is to deconstruct the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness,” says Spencer-Thomas. “In order for that to occur, we must become more comfortable talking about these issues. What better way to start than at a community event that is celebrating hope and recovery through the arts.”

On February 8th at 6:30PM, business leaders will be joined by scores of mental health advocates, artists, students and caring citizens for the opening night of the Mirrors and Metaphors professional art exhibit. Colorado’s beloved nature photographer, John Fielder will make brief remarks and dinner will be provided by LifeStyles Catering. West Pines Lutheran Medical Center and Regis University are sponsoring this event. Proceeds will benefit the Carson J Spencer Foundation, the Second Wind Fund, and Access Gallery. Tickets may be purchased through

About the Carson J Spencer Foundation
The Carson J Spencer Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded in April 2005 following the suicide of its namesake. The Carson J Spencer Foundation envisions a world where leaders and communities are committed to sustaining a passion for life. They sustain a passion for life through:
• funding social enterprise for sustainable mental health initiatives
• delivering innovative suicide prevention programs targeting the working age population
• supporting the education of emerging entrepreneurs and leaders

For more information, please call Sally Spencer-Thomas 303-458-4323 or visit


Contact: Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas
Executive Director
Carson J Spencer Foundation
Cell 720-244-6535
Work 303-458-4323
Contact Information
Carson J Spencer Foundation
Sally Spencer-Thomas

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