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Life & Work with JessicaRose Johnson of All Over

Today we’d like to introduce you to JessicaRose Johnson.

Hi JessicaRose, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
When I first started suicide prevention, it was by accident, or maybe you’ll believe in an aligning of the stars. I graduated with my master’s degree in criminal intelligence analysis and religion and culture. At the time, my life was shifting, and I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to do. Someone I met recently asked if I wanted to help homeless veterans, so I said ‘sure.’ As a veteran myself, I wanted to help my fellow veterans. I worked as a case manager for a few months, but due to some safety concerns, my husband suggested it was time to move on. While discussing this with a fellow veteran, she said, ‘why don’t you work for me? And I said ‘OK.’ I turned in my résumé and application and honestly ignored what I was applying for. I soon became the suicide prevention program manager for the Oklahoma Army National Guard. I thought, well, I love research and people, so I’ll research about suicide and figure out how I can help people. I conducted a mortality review of our lost deaths, learned much, and fell in love with suicide prevention. Since then, I’ve worked on a statewide opiate epidemic program and worked for SAMHSA’s service members, veterans, and families technical assistance center. I’m now the owner of Rosebud Consulting, with a focus on training and education around suicide and overdose prevention. There are so many misconceptions, and I hope to educate, train, and advocate to change the world and make it a better place.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Not everything has been a smooth process. One of my biggest slows along the way is not being a licensed clinician. Some imposter syndrome kicks in, of course, but this also goes back to a misconception and misunderstanding about suicide prevention. One of the training I teach is an international evidence-based training that anyone can take. It offers CEUSs for clinicians. So, if I can teach a clinician how to do a suicide intervention, I too can do one. You don’t have to be licensed to make a difference, and just because you are licensed doesn’t mean you’re the right fit to help every person. One of the other struggles along the way is finding balance in my work and my personal life. Being a business owner means I can work whenever I want to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t work. Sometimes I’ve gotten into tight deadlines with multiple contracts where I put in many more hours weekly. On other weeks I have to take a whole week off to attend to my husband’s health.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
Being a trainer, speaker, and advocate for suicide and overdose prevention, I have been blessed to travel all over the US and territories to work with many groups of people. I am mostly known for my passion, high energy, and ability to be human about a serious topic. I don’t mind having hard conversations and talking about suicide or talking about firearm safety. I feel there are so many misconceptions that an open conversation can solve. This world can be dark if we let it, and I’m happy to be one that brings light. What makes me most proud is hearing from people about how a simple post on social media has changed their life or hear from someone after training about how they used the skills I taught and saved someone. I feel my high energy and empathetic soul is what sets me apart from others. I love people and truly look for the good in everyone because I know it’s there.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
When it comes to networking, one of the things that I have found most successful is having one-on-one connections. Usually, when we are out networking, it’s at a large event where we swap business cards and never hear from each other again. In the wonderful world of technology, you can set up a zoom chat if you’re not in the same location as someone. If you are in the same location, someone meets for coffee. When it comes to finding a mentor, find somebody with the same values as you or that you would like to take on as your own. Reach out to that person and ask if they are willing to mentor you. Make sure you know and can articulate what you want mentoring in. Do you want somebody with that you can bounce ideas? Do you want somebody you can shadow like a ‘Day in the life of? Also, don’t just take but remember to give. If you take on a mentor, treat them to coffee or dinner. Be respectful of the time they give you and appreciate what they do for you. Appreciation and a small token of thanks go a long way.

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Image Credits
Carl Hurst

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