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Making a difference

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Hi there!

Welcome to
UNFILTERED, exploring the unfiltered reality of mental health.
Meet your Co-Hosts: Barb Anne and Amanda

Meet Barb Anne

Your go-to expert for all things mental health, suicide prevention & being authentic.

Barb Anne founded and is the Executive Director of The Center for Suicide Awareness, a 501 c 3 nonprofit, located in Kaukauna, WI. She is certified in the Mitchell Model for Suicide Prevention, Intervention, Postvention, De-Briefing and Group and Individual Crisis Intervention. She completed CIT training and is part of the CISM team. She is certified by the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) in Crisis Response Team Training. She is an FBI Academy certified Master Resilience Trainer. Barb Anne created the first Text Based Support Line to WI called the HOPELINE.

She is a certified QPR instructor. She is certified by the Wisconsin Brain Institute in Brain spotting. She holds certifications in Trauma Informed Care and Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality. She is a certified facilitator by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Barb also holds certifications in Holistic practices as in Reiki, Sound Frequency, and Chakra Balancing. She is also certified in RAMP and CORE coaching.


Amanda Bates

Master Resiliency Trainer/EMS


Hi! My name is Amanda Bates, and I am very proud to be a part of the Resiliency Training Team here at the Center for Suicide Awareness and co-host for this podcast. 


 I recently served our state as the immediate-past EMS Section Chief, for the    State of Wisconsin, Department of Health Services. Responsible for managing the EMS Section staff and the programs, initiatives and grant opportunities that office lead. During my tenure in that seat, we were able to grow the office staff from 7 to 13 full time staff members,  fully actualize Community EMS (2017 WI Act 256), advocate and disperse 40 million in ARPA funding to critical EMS Services, overhaul the outdated Service relicensing process by utilizing electronic systems, saved 2,000 AEMTs from being out of compliance from the enactment of a badly written and poorly executed rule revision, enacted an actual EMS Compliant and Investigation process with an additional full -time dedicated, and highly trained staff member, to oversee that critical and fair process. Other program highlights include EMS practitioners being added and approved to administers vaccines and participate in WEAVER, 2021 and 2022 Scope of Practice Release, Expense Reporting Revision, Reinstatement of field "Service Director Trainings", continuation of Monthly EMS Town Hall Sessions, streamlined EMS Radio to Hospital channel requests.

Wow - that is a lot- so how did I get there?

Started as an open water lifeguard on Lake Michigan in the City of Kenosha, became a volunteer EMT/
Firefighter with Somers Fire and Rescue than a Paramedic. I have also worked professionally as an EMS Education and Outreach Director with an EMS Association, taught Dispatcher Assisted Bystander CPR to over 100 Telecommunicators, lead a stigma-reduction campaign, wrote community EMS education and served on a local Southeast Wisconsin City Fire Department. I am proud of my roots, the friends and mentors I have met along the way. I have given 110% on every call, every interaction, with very partner, with every patient.

What Have I learned? 

There really is no training or class you can take to prepare you for the weight of some of the calls you will work on. Or, how to be “you” in between shifts, how to carry the loss, how to breathe, how to talk to each other- really talk to each other.


I’ve lost friends and colleagues to suicide, I’ve seen good medics walk off the line, friends divorce- cheat- drink themselves into a stupor. This is not who we are.

I hope this podcast helps you. I hope by sharing my story, and the stories of others you will know 1- you are not alone 2- you are having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, 3- there is light, you will feel like "you" again. 


20+ Years of Experience In

Wellness Coach




Call Center Headset

Crisis Intervention



Coaching & Advocating


The journey towards bettering your mental health and focusing on self love starts today. 

Listen to the Podcast

"Barb Anne is one powerful speaker! She brings tons of real-life experiences and mixes it with the right amount of compassion and humor to make you want more."

- S.T.

"Powerful, experienced, and astonishing! Barb Anne is packed with knowledge and yet comes across in a very real way. She is delightful to work with."

- J.R.

"Her talk got me thinking and I have been tuned into more of her educational series and it has changed my life. I know people say that kind of stuff, but for me it is true."

- B.C.

Coming Soon!!

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