A big part of what I do is talking to other people, both as a sports broadcaster and a motivational speaker. I listen to stories and help share them with others. And as a result, we all benefit from the lesson that story taught (because there is always a lesson). But the more I do this, the more I believe that finding your purpose is the secret to waking up each morning ready to do it all again, whatever that may be.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to be genuinely energized by they work they do. My hope is that one day soon they will. For those who have been lucky enough to find that perfect fit, the work that really, truly drives them, amazing things are possible. And one recent guest was a perfect example of how.
Mental health is a topic we’ve discussed many times on my podcast Rounding the Bases. One reason is that it’s a very serious, very real affliction. But the other is that its such a widespread issue that really everyone can benefit from revisiting. Yet still, a stigma remains and resources are lacking compared to traditional healthcare. Kelly Specht made it her life’s work to change them both.
On June 23, 2017, her son Carl took his own life, causing her radiant smile to fade to devastation. He was an All-American kind of guy with brains, brawn and enviable career success. But this illness doesn’t discriminate. Carl’s Cause was born, and Kelly and her husband Bob made it their mission to raise awareness about mental health. Four years later, they’ve raised more than $350,000 and saved countless lives by reminding us that its okay not to be okay. And help is just a phone call away.
SINGLE: Never Alone
Mental health may not always manifest physically, but without a doubt it can lead to all-out crisis situations. When that happens, what do people do? In the past, they struggled to find resources, hopefully before it was too late. Now, all they have to do is dial 988 to be instantly connected to the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, where a trained professional is ready to help. Kelly’s son Carl was desperate for the same easily accessible mental health support. Had he been able to reach it, his story may have turned out differently. For Kelly, finding your purpose meant first dealing with unimaginable tragedy. And now, it has enabled her to help – likely even save – so many lives.
DOUBLE: Unexpected Purpose
A startling twenty perfect of the population will struggle with mental health. In more illustrative terms, Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, seats 37,903 fans. At any given time, 7,581 of them are dealing with mental health issues in some capacity. “There are so many people going through it, but yet, people are still hesitant talk about it,” said Kelly. She may not be a trained mental health professional, but she has been through the challenge of watching a loved one struggle. “We know what it feels like and we know how isolating it is,” she acknowledge, adding that many people turn to her and her husband Bob in their own times of crisis. “And we so appreciate people reaching out to us.”
TRIPLE: Silver Linings
The pandemic dealt every person around the world a test we never saw coming. From lockdowns to quarantines, it would be difficult to find a single person who didn’t deal with feelings of isolation or anxiety to some degree during that period. It was truly universal, and if there was one positive to have come out of it all, it was a heightened awareness about mental health. “That importance of connecting with people, and the importance of not being isolated…I think it’s a good thing.”
HOME RUN: A Healthy Partnership
Carl’s Cause has forged some incredible partnerships since its inception. With the Royals, Blue Cross Blue Shield and so many others in their corner, they’ve been able to make big strides. “What we’re really proud of is that we’re still partnering with the University of Kansas Health System,” she told me. Thanks to the support provided by Carl’s Cause, it has been able to fund the hiring of its very first Mental Health Navigator, a sort of recovery aide that is common for patients needing physical help, but almost unheard of for those needing mental support. And the impact has already begun to snowball. At least one family who benefitted from the navigator service has helped fund the onboarding of another. If there were ever a lesson to be learned, it’s that from tragedy can come light, by finding your purpose and paying it forward.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to speak with someone 24 hours a day.
Learn More About Finding Your Purpose from Joel
Book Joel Goldberg for your next corporate event. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. In addition, he brings unique perspectives and lessons learned from some of the world’s most successful organizations. Whatever your profession, Joel is the keynote speaker who can help your team achieve a championship state of mind.
Joel Goldberg 0:12
Hey everybody welcome into Rounding the Bases presented by Community America Credit Union believe in unbelievable. My name is Joel Goldberg got a important episode today it’s a follow up on one from the past and one that I believe applies to all of us. It’s regarding the incredibly important topic of mental health, which I’ve done a bunch of episodes on, and we’ll continue to do so, here on Rounding the Bases. A quick shout out to my friends at Chief of Staff Kansas City really loved my partnership with them, that we believe in the same things culture people, they believe in taking care of people. So if you’re looking to hire someone, if you’re looking to be placed, they’re a great resource whether you work with them or not, I highly encourage you to check them out calm, I said that I sent you nothing there for me, but I just I believe in them. So check it out at Chief of Staff kc.com. As I said, mental health is a topic we’ve discussed many times here on Rounding the Bases. One reason is that it’s a very serious, very real affliction. It’s something that I think we all can relate to. I think we’re at a point now in life. I don’t want to speak for everyone where, where we’ve been affected in one way or another. But it’s such a widespread issue that really everyone can benefit from revisiting this. A startling one five people will struggle with mental health during their lifetime. That’s 20% of the population. In more illustrative terms, Kauffman Stadium seats 37,903 fans, that’s where I live a lot. At any given time. 7581 of them are dealing with it in some capacity by the numbers, yet still a stigma remains and resources are lacking compared to traditional health. My guest today has made it her life’s work, her family’s life work to change both. Her name is Kelly Specht and on June 23, 2017 her radiant smile faded to devastation when her oldest son Carl took his own life. It’s a horrible story. It’s one that too many people around the country know. He was an all American kind of guy with brains, brawn and enviable career success. But this illness doesn’t discriminate. Carl’s Cause is an incredible organization, it was born as Carl’s parents, Kelly and Bob set out to raise awareness and mental health. Four years later, they’ve raised more than $350,000 and saved countless lives by reminding us that it’s okay to not be okay. And that help is just a phone call away, I was fortunate enough to have Kelly on during a mental health series that we did for Blue Cross Blue Shield a while back and wanted to revisit at this point. And quite frankly, I think we could revisit this on a regular basis. And it’s never enough. And so I’m happy right now to be joined by Kelly. Kelly, it’s good to see you. It’s good to talk to you. And I know that you and your family are so busy with this mission along with everything else in life. How are you doing?
Kelly Specht 3:07
Great Joel. Great, good to see it.
Joel Goldberg 3:10
It’s good to see you, you know, first thing I want to do jump in jump out is that you’ve got some some good stuff going on coming up and I understanding with podcasts that some people may be listening to this after the fact. But if they are there’ll be more events coming up there. I think there always will be more events. But you got some cool stuff coming up at Kauffman Stadium. Tell me about it.
Kelly Specht 3:30
Well, a week from Saturday on July 23. We’re going to be partnering actually with Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Royals and Carl’s Cause. And we’re gonna be promoting the 988 lifeline, which is it actually goes live tomorrow on July
Yeah, July 16. Nationwide. And with this as Joel is there taking like the one 800 Number for any kind of crisis, really, but also a suicide, especially into a three digit code called 988. And that will be something people can text they can call to get so much easier. So it rolls out tomorrow on Saturday, and then a week later, we’re going to be doing a big event at the Royals to kind of promote that further.
Joel Goldberg 4:21
Which is awesome. And I know you’ll have I know you’ll have a lot of people out there and of course, because I feel like anytime that that that you guys have something going on that that they that people turn out in big numbers, I’ll see him walking around in those Carl’s Cause T shirts, and it’s, you know, that in itself has to it has to feel really good and supportive to know that you have so many people that that want to be involved in this or that are themselves and I want to talk more about this 988 lifeline because I think that when when you’re in crisis, you know the first thing that happens is
Oh my gosh, who do I call? What’s the number? Where do I go? And you, I think you start Googling it, or you ask a friend. And if I’m understanding it correctly and getting it, this is as simple. That’s the right way to put it. This is as simple as the way we would call 911.
Kelly Specht 5:19
Wow, thanks. Exactly.
Joel Goldberg 5:21
So tell me about that. Because I think we’re at that point where everyone understands, maybe not everyone that this is a crisis. And if you’re in crisis, you don’t have time to think you have to do this quickly. So how much can this 988 lifeline potentially save lives?
Kelly Specht 5:41
Yeah, I think it’s going to be huge toll, because they’re actually, like, master level counselors on the other end, and they’ve got so it’s not just somebody answering the phone without any experience. These are, these are trained professionals. And they have just a whole database of resources. So you know, where they can really direct people to get the help they need. And it could be, you know, it’s all crisis, substance abuse, any grief counseling that they need a clergy, anything they need, right now, somebody just needs to talk to somebody, they’re going to have that at their fingertips.
Joel Goldberg 6:19
Yeah, and so it’s not necessarily or not exclusively, suicide prevention, although there certainly is going to be a lot of that. But I think the key word you hit was crisis. And I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, or help me expand on this, I think that, you know, so much of this is just awareness, not just awareness in terms of mental health, but getting out this simple number, right? I mean, there’s not one person in the United States that is unaware of calling 911. If you’re old enough, right, it’s probably one of the first things that any child learns once they’re able to do that. Matter of fact, I believe that my son when when he was like, one, accidentally called 911, I was on the road, my wife was in the shower, and the police showed up at the door. Imagine me hearing about this. Honey, I was in a towel, and there was a police officer, okay, enjoying this road trip. But my son had accidentally called that. But once he was old enough to learn it, he knew that 911 is what you call up there is an emergency. So I guess the mission right now, among many others, is just awareness and letting people know this exists. Because we can all remember three numbers are really numbers, right? nine and eight.
Kelly Specht 7:35
Exactly. Yeah. And, you know, it’s, it’s been a couple of years in the past, in the process, getting it going. I remember when I first heard about this literally, like, well, over two years ago, I thought, why don’t they get it right away? Why are they why are they rolling it out. But obviously, there was a lot of work that had to be done on the back end of it to make sure the infrastructure was built, and every single state across the country helping get ready for it. So it’s, it’s been a process. And finally, tomorrow, it’s gonna go live, which I think will be huge. And also, Joel, I
a lot of heat off of 911. Because, you know, think about that, too. How many probably crises calls they get at 911. So now, this is gonna take your home really important direction for people to take that lifelines.
Joel Goldberg 8:24
Yeah, and I would just I’d encourage everybody, just just start spreading the word just starting. Just, I mean, it takes two seconds. Hey, if you’re in crisis, call 988. And then let’s start there. Because when we hear 911, we know exactly what it is. And I think that that’s somewhat indicative of constantly called a mental health crisis, right? I mean, I think and I know that, that this is, you know, this is your life’s work now. I wish and I know you wish that it wasn’t at the same time you have that opportunity to you and Bob and all of your family and friends, to be able to honor Carl and his legacy every single day by saving lives. And, you know, I mentioned it in the intro, and we talked about the last time that he was that, that all American boy, I never had a chance to meet him. I feel like I know him a little bit just, you know, through you guys. And that’s, that’s a really nice thing. But
I know one of the messages that you give everyone is that it really can happen to anyone and in many ways Carl, embodied that did he?
Kelly Specht 9:35
Yeah, yeah. He was like the last person that anybody would have ever thought something like this can happen to and yeah, you know, I think it’s only it just kind of came out of nowhere in his early 20s. And which we found out later to was very common, which we didn’t know that. And, you know, the hardest part too is just finding resources. Now What to do when you’re not when you’ve never dealt with anything like this before?
Joel Goldberg 10:05
Yeah, I mean, I have to think that, unfortunately, you and Bob are experts who, so to speak, on this topic now, not anything you ever want it to be at the same time and incredible responsibility
by furthering Carl’s legacy by doing this life’s work, you have to live it all the time, too. And so is that, how challenging is that? For you guys? As a family at the same time? How much closer? Does it bring you to Carl?
Kelly Specht 10:50
Yeah, that’s a good question. You know, what, so so interesting, Joel, is, is how common it is. You know, that’s what’s so interesting, when how many times Bob and I will get a call from somebody or a text from somebody saying, Oh, my gosh, we’re in crisis, what do we do? And we obviously have always said, we’re not the experts, but because now with our
relationship with the University of Kansas Health System, what they’re doing for behavioral health, you know, we’ve formed a partnership, and we now have resources to, to give other people but it’s almost like this whole, it’s like an underworld, you know, because there are so many people going through it, but yet nobody, people are still hesitant to talk about it. They don’t want maybe their friends and family to know, but they know they can call us because we’ve lived it. And you know, and we’re fine with it, really, we want to we so appreciate people reaching out to us, just because we know what it feels like, we know how isolating that is, and you don’t know where to turn.
Joel Goldberg 11:55
You’ve been on the other side of it. And so you understand, at least to some extent, what they’re going through in that panic, in that moment of crisis, or whatever it is. And so he said, You’re you’re not the experts, but I think, you know, I think in many ways all of us are becoming experts to some extent or another because it almost to me. I don’t know, I mean, it. You know, we’re certainly at a point now in the world, and had been for many, many years, where when you talk about just say something, just in general terms like cancer, or we can do the same thing with mental health just just to overall, because that covers a lot. You find one person that hasn’t been affected by cancer, whether it’s themselves their family or a friend, you know, you know, everyone, I think that that’s probably the same with mental health. I know it is. yet. We’re still uncomfortable talking about it. And so when when we did our podcast a while back through Blue Cross Blue Shield, you know, one of the initiatives there was to continue to raise awareness to try to remove the stigma. Where are we at? Just from your perspective, or your research either way, right now? Because it feels like it’s out there more. It also feels like there’s more of it, which I don’t know if that’s because we’re talking about it more, or if it’s pandemic related, or both. I mean, it just feels like
you know, these last few years, take a deep breath. Right. I mean, these last few years have been, have really affected most people’s mental health in some way or another. I’m curious, your take on that.
Kelly Specht 13:45
Yeah, I think that maybe the one positive that coming out of the pandemic is the fact that everybody, everyone, I think across the board really probably definitely experienced some form of isolation or anxiety over this worldwide pandemic. I mean, everybody was affected, obviously. So for the first time, maybe people realize what it feels like to be feel anxiety or to feel isolated. So the one I think positive that did come out, it’s just that that did bring out people’s a lot of awareness for mental health, and the importance of that importance of connecting with people, and the importance of not being isolated, or understanding anxiety and what it feels like when you’re listening to the news every night. This is growing and the numbers and you know, think we’ve listened to everybody.
So, and I think you’re right to Joel, at least Bob and I feel like we hear so much more about it now on the news and people talking about it. And I think that’s a good thing.
last year was was such an incredible night, the Royals and University of Kansas Health System had the first ever mental wellness night at The K. And that was the night they invited Bob Carl’s cause also to join in. And my husband, Bob got to throw out the first pitch back game, and I was in the bathroom, Neil See, we had about 500 friends come out with green T shirts on for calls cars that you mentioned. And just everybody there that night, I think, you know, this was a huge awareness events. And a lot of our friends that even just walking up to, you know, the concessions or anywhere they went, people were asking what was Carls Cause? And what was the point of that? And metal Tech was, think about that. All the people spreading awareness that night.
Joel Goldberg 16:06
It was, it was a powerful night. I think, one I just like everywhere I turn there was one of those green shirts, you know, which is great. Because that gets people asking, Hey, why are you guys here? What’s going on? And then we got to see Bob throw out the first pitch. That was really, that was really cool, too. Right. And I know that he had both of you have had that love for baseball. And you know, he had certainly been around that forever.
So that was that was a cool moment. But I just think more importantly, like you said, I remember, you know, one of the first times that that we met, and he talked about bringing this to the stadium level because you think about that that’s, that’s now loving 35,000 people potentially or even if it’s a smaller crowd, and it’s 10 or 15,000 people, that’s a big audience that you have right there, I think more significantly, is that most of the people that you see that you’re coming to see at a baseball game, probably have more in common with Carl, right? I mean, there are guys that people would assume well, there can’t be anything wrong. I will tell you right now, without knowing all the stories, and whatever stories I do know, I wouldn’t reveal them that these guys I’m talking about, whether it’s Royals, players, Major League, baseball players, professional athletes, or shoot, I’m sure Hollywood stars or whatever, who CEOs any walk of life where you would assume they’ve got it all made, they must be set. They go home with real problems and real issues, whether they’re their own or someone else’s all the time, too. How much do you hear that? I mean, that’s part of the stigma, I think is that you’re supposed to be this this quote unquote, tough guy, or you’re supposed to be invincible, or you’re supposed to be the All American, you couldn’t possibly have these issues. And yet, I think that if you were to privately ask, most people would say, Yes, I did you do hear a lot of that privately, or do you hear a lot of that behind the scenes?
Kelly Specht 18:02
Yes, for sure, Joel. And you know, we’ve learned even, even just so many different professions, how it’s, the stigma is so much worse, even, you know, in the medical, and for doctors, they have a very high rate. Even suicide, people don’t realize that but because if they’re if they’re hurting or have a problem, they don’t feel like they can go get the help. Same with obviously, police officers, or people in the military, we’ve seen a lot of that kind of the tough guy mentality. And there’s a lot of the demographics that’s just so interested in even farmers and people that you wouldn’t even think about they there’s like a high rate of suicide is just an I think it’s such a touchy subject that’s very uncomfortable for people to talk about, obviously. But it’s important because if people are having these feelings, no matter what walk of life you’re in, and what your role is, in the world, if you are that executive or whoever, you know, doesn’t matter if you’re if you’re needing help there, there is their resources, and there’s no reason it’s brain health, it’s our brain and the brain is you know, it’s it affects every other organ in our body, and we can’t keep our brain, you know, give it some help, and there’s no way we can. The rest of your body is suffering.
Joel Goldberg 19:25
I think it’s, you know, I think it’s interesting, too, because the younger generation and I mean, you know, close close to your kid’s age. But you know, your kids are grown up now and younger adults, I would say but my kids age the teenagers and even the, I don’t know, I’m guessing that an eight or nine year old is starting to hear about mental health, but I hear and I’ve wondered about this a little bit. I want to know what you think You know, I hear my kids all the time talking about mental health. And we’ve got mental health challenges too, but
I hear them with their friends talking about it all the time, I will now hear on a regular basis. Hey, can I can I skip school today for a mental health day? And which I think is great.
I also worry sometimes that it’s, it’s too easy of an excuse. And I don’t mean that to minimize the mental health. I mean, that if it’s used too often, do we become desensitized to it? Or is it great that all of these kids as teenagers are willing to talk about it? To some extent, they do talk about it with their friends, maybe not all of them, but my kids say that they they do talk about it with their friends. Maybe that’s not the case across the board. But I do think these kids no more are more comfortable with it, than say, you and I were Kelly, when you would never suggest something like that at all. So I think that’s a sign of progress. Is it not?
Kelly Specht 21:04
I do too. Yeah, I really do talk. You know, I’m not around high school kids as much anymore. But I guess, you know, nieces and nephews coming up. And and I think it’s certainly in our family, our large extended family that obviously just because of our life experience. Now everybody does. You know, they’re they’re aware now, and we talked about it. But I think I think it is great.
There was a quote that I saw with Robin Williams photo on that said, you know, people don’t fake depression and people fake being okay. And I thought, Wow, that’s pretty, pretty powerful. Because I think that’s probably more true, honest. People fake being okay. You know, you know, take depression so much.
Joel Goldberg 21:52
Yeah, I mean, you know, I joke a little bit on the side of like, kids using, can I have a mental health day, which, by the way, I mean, sometimes they really do need it, it’s the grind and, and look, for anyone who wants they want, we didn’t need that when we were kids? Well, we we, I mean, we’re not dealing with the stuff, we were not dealing with the stuff than they are now. We didn’t have social media, we didn’t have cell phones. And that’s all they’ve ever had their whole lives. And so it is a totally different world. I mean, this is so much of the Pandora’s box that we open anytime we evolve. And we, we, you know, oftentimes technology, right? I mean, we we push forward, and it’s so exciting, the different things that we can do. And the ease, we can do things with now, but there’s generally a price to pay for it and the after effects of it. And so I do think it’s a good thing that these kids are willing to that they know what mental health is they know it better than than the average adult, I believe. And it’s it’s a real thing to them. So I guess that’s, that’s one of the challenges among many going forward is to educate the adults, the adults in the room, that this is that this is a a real thing, and that it can happen to anyone. And so I guess I guess that’s that’s part of it. I wanted to follow up on one thing, too, you know, since since we met, it feels like we are pulling out of this pandemic in some way or another, we’re certainly in a different place than we were two years ago, three years ago, and all of that. I’m wondering where where we’re at, in terms of mental health now, not in awareness. But if we do have that many more people that were affected, that lost jobs that were that were not out in public that that are getting back, even though there’s a lot of anxiety now, which certainly is involved with mental health.
It also feels like no, this may not be your expertise, that that the profession, those that deal with mental health, to psychiatrists, and social services, and all that are completely inundated right now and that you may need to wait for weeks or months at a time to get in there. And I was just curious kind of what you’re seeing, because it feels like there’s probably more of a need than ever as we hopefully turn this corner.
Kelly Specht 24:20
Yeah, you’re right. I think that those professions are just they’re slammed, you know, and we need more.
Kind of the need is time for more psychiatrists and more people that are specializing in those fields because because the need is so great. And a lot of them I’m sure were burnout too. You know, they kept working through the pandemic, maybe doing virtual calls and that the increase in the amount of need there, too. Huge.
Joel Goldberg 24:50
Couple of things before before we wrap up, Kelly and we I’ll throw some of my my fun baseball themed questions at you but I just want Get a little bit of a feel now, for where you guys are at in terms of Carl’s cars, I want to let everybody know. And this will be in the show notes as well. I really, I highly encourage everybody to go to Carl’s cars.org. Just take a look at what they’re doing. Also, you get a chance to read about Carl and his story, there’s a great video on there as well and so much of what you are all doing. And not just Carlos caused that many, many organizations all over the country, for that matter, is not just about today, it’s about tomorrow, it’s about the future. And, and I know that the more that that your voices are heard, the more that you’re able to spread, not just Carl’s legacy, but to potentially save lives. What what’s what’s on the horizon for you guys? As you can I know, you’re not done?
Kelly Specht 25:51
Far from it. So and anything long term or anything beyond what’s going on, you know, with the Royals, great partnerships with which do with Royals, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and so many others, a lot of sponsors, what can we look forward to?
Well, it’s all what what our money, the money we’ve been raising. So we do have an annual golf tournament in September, we we have little things along the way that we do. But probably what we’re really proud of is are we are still partnering with the University of Kansas Health System. And the majority of the money we’ve raised has gone to hire the very first Behavioral Health Navigator. So Navigators are very common in the cancer service line and the cardiac service line. And they’re privately funded positions that will help patients as they transition from from maybe a an acute cardiac issue to back to daily life and how they have to navigate that
there’s never been a navigator for behavioral health, because they’re privately funded positions. And they’re not, they’re just not that many people that give back to behavioral health. So when we approached you about part of partnering with them, or University of Kansas, they, they were ecstatic because they just didn’t have that kind of support from from other organizations. So we’re very proud that the very first Navigator has been hired, they’re now going to develop a program and navigator program, there’s already been another family that benefited from this navigator who now have given back a generous donation so that a navigator can be hired for Marillac. And then they’re going to be adding more navigators because it is there’s such a need such a need. And this navigator, who she’s amazing. In fact, she caught the pitch, last year on Bob threw out the first pitch, and which was kind of a symbolic
I mean, you think of just, the need is huge, it’s really huge. And so we’re very, very proud of that, as I said, we weren’t, we are experts that we can help raise money and awareness to begin to get the right people.
Joel Goldberg 28:24
Well, your, your, your experts in in, in a certain area of this, right? That doesn’t mean you know, mental health expert in terms of the way a doctor might be or a social worker or something like that. Although I would, I would be willing to bet that there are many days where you may feel like a social worker or a counselor. And again, that’s part of the, I think the responsibility of
you know, in the, in the fairly still short existence of Carl’s cause you’ve had a lot of victories or maybe it’s something unrelated, but how about a home run for you?
Kelly Specht 29:11
Yes. You know, I think it was last summer we’re getting to
come out to the stadium level as we did. As I mentioned being out in out there, the Royals and KU, University of Kansas, having a mental wellness day recognizing the importance of that was a huge, huge
night for us. And of course, my goal is to keep that message going not just one game a year but every game a consistent something that we hear every game but it was a great night. I think this next Saturday is going to be a great day to we’re going to be promoting the 988 number this time with Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Royals. The fact that Royals are getting behind this and understanding the importance is is really big and even you know, regardless of the size of the attendance at any certain game, you’ve also got the broadcast seen in the live audience as well, that is watching. So that’s across the country to the team we’re playing and where that team is located. So, yes, it’s getting out there.
Joel Goldberg 30:12
Slowly but surely. And every day, some progress, I’m sure, sometimes some steps backwards, but but the more that message is out there and again, helping chip away at that stigma, have there been any swings and misses along the way or anything that you say, Boy, that didn’t work, but we learned from it?
Kelly Specht 30:32
Yeah, I mean, certainly the biggest swing in the Miss was when we were trying to access care for Carl, and trying to find resources and just not getting the help we needed not knowing desperately what we needed, and not being able to do that. And then losing Carl, it’ll always be the most devastating thing of our life. And, you know, what we learned, obviously, is that
there’s so much work to do. And we are dedicated to that.
Joel Goldberg 31:03
Well, it’s, I said before, it’s your it’s your life’s work now. And so I would imagine through the pain, that there’s there’s purpose every day. I’m not saying that there wasn’t before, either. But I mean, you want to talk and I talk to people all the time, even just through my motivational speaking about finding your purpose, and not everyone loves what they do. Not everyone has the ability to love what they do. But I always believe when you find purpose, it gives you reason to get out of bed for that day.
Well, I mean, that’s a whole nother topic, right? I mean, when you start talking about mental health and certainly depression, so much that comes with there a lot of people that that struggle just to get out of bed every single day, and sometimes that can be related to job or who knows what, it could be anything, of course, but I’ve got to think that for you and Bob and everyone involved in college causing and so many of the other causes around the country relating to mental health that you know, your purpose on most days, I would imagine.
Kelly Specht 32:03
We do and it’s it has brought a lot of healing to us, I think because we do feel a connection with Carl and I really feel like he’s he’s kind of a there. You know, he’s driving a lot of us I really do. There’s some of the things that have happened is you just can’t explain how that how it happened the way it did. So I feel very connected with him. And like he’s like he’s driving it making a difference.
Joel Goldberg 32:27
And I am guessing that that those are, those are beautiful moments for you guys.
Kelly Specht 32:31
even the Saturday or next Saturdays. We always laugh he always has some little something happens during these games. The last last year, we were playing the Chicago White Sox setup on the the line score that was the initials CWS. Well, those are Carl’s initials. He was Pharrell Williams specs and Home Game Heroes. CWS. Casey, next Saturday happens to be the K State night at the Royals, which Carl’s a K State grad. We’re off by K State fans. So of course it is.
Joel Goldberg 33:07
Right. And it’s not like these things were planned out. Okay, let’s, let’s we’ll take the White Sox game because it’s Carl’s initial Now it didn’t it didn’t work out that way. Yeah. So that that must have been really special and moving just to be able to look up and see those initials there, which I think anytime if Royals are playing the White Sox, you can get a little bit of that the fact that it happened on that night, obviously made it all that much more powerful. The last baseball team question is small ball. I think small ball really applies to this in terms of your battle and your fight with Carl’s cars, and just mental health in general, the little things that add up to the big results of what is small ball to you.
Kelly Specht 33:44
So small balls would be a lot of the events that we do along the way for awareness. We’ve done events, like at a brewery,
obviously, the Royals game and a lot of people came out to bat we’ve done things like a college football game at K State we’ve done. We do a golf tournament, we’ve left rocks at nature, and other people have taken rocks with green rocks with positive sayings that have been all across the country. All of those little things do add up because it’s awareness. It’s the people getting behind what we’re doing and taking that message even further to. So it’s growing. There’s so much momentum and it every single thing we do brings awareness and helps reduce that stigma because we’re talking about it. And we’re getting it out there they open.
Joel Goldberg 34:30
It we keep talking about it, can keep talking about it and keep talking about it. I know on the website, it says Carl’s Cause is still in the game promoting mental health awareness. We’re taking mental health awareness to the stadium level. Let’s finish with that Kelly, because I think it’s powerful. I referenced it a little bit before you talked about it’s not even just everybody in the stadium. It’s the TV audience. It’s everyone that’s talking to everyone. But I remember one of the first times that that you and I and Bob talked and you
I want you to expand on the significance of that, because Carl was an athlete too and loved sports. But But what it means to be at that stadium level, at something that still most people that would fill a stadium, aren’t always willing to talk about yet probably are going through.
Kelly Specht 35:30
You know, I actually was looking through my phone at some pictures, because we all our family, that summer of 2017, we all went out to a game at the Royals and Carl was with us. Tailgated, you know, we knew he was struggling, we knew he was
going through and you know, he was in a low place. And I just kept it in kind I wish somehow there’d be a message that he could hear something, you know, something like what if it was a, you know, a professional athlete or somebody on the scoreboard or some message like, what if a message could have come across that big screen that he could have heard that day, you know, other than us, he knew his family was there and supportive and everything. So if that’s just the point, you don’t know who needs to hear a message at any moment. And, but a great audience, you’ve got a great platform is a stadium where there’s all walks of life, you’ve got college friends out of the game, you’ve got work, people, you’ve got school, or church or whoever the organization is. But for us that day, I just remember thinking, how can we, you know, how do we meet and greets? And to let them know it’s okay and get help. There’s, here’s the picture of someone who’s like they have their life together. And they’re, they’re being honest out there, and they’re showing some message. So.
Joel Goldberg 36:54
Yeah. And now Carl, has that opportunity to be involved in that message every single day, through Carl’s cause and such a beautiful legacy. So I want to encourage everybody again, to visit Karl’s cause.org to let other people know that cause cause is something they should check out. And I think right now, Kelly, and it was one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on. Most people will be listening to this.
Perhaps after the Royals event, certainly after the nine eight eight Lifeline is unveiled just to let people know, spread the word, right, nine, eight, eight, crisis 988. And let’s make that something that people don’t think about or have to Google or figure out what it is. It’s just on your fingertips that 911 is and so, the 988 lifeline, finally, at last is here, and that’s certainly something that’s gonna save a lot of lives. And I know that that’s got to give you a lot of hope.
Kelly Specht 38:00
Absolutely, and I think it’s awesome that the Royals are behind it and in promoting it too. So good for them. You know, they may be the first
leading the truck.
Joel Goldberg 38:20
Yeah, we will. We will keep trying to spread the word. Kelly, thanks for all the work that you and Bob and your family and friends and everyone that is supporting Carlos cause is doing again, it’s Carlscause.org. Carlscause.org Really appreciate you sharing Carl’s story, sharing the cause, cause mission with us once again, here. Keep it up. Thanks for all.
Kelly Specht 38:44
Thank you Joel we appreciate it.