Wednesday’s free Mipso concert in Avon to benefit suicide prevention
IF YOU GO:
What: Avon LIVE! free concert
Where: Avon Performance Pavilion at Harry A. Nottingham Park
When: Wednesday, August 16, music begins at 5:30 p.m.
Park Lawn Opens: 5 p.m.
Family Happy Hour: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Raffle: Register between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Winners will be announced during intermission and end of evening)
AVON — Wednesday’s Mipso concert at Nottingham Park will double as a benefit for Speak Up, Reach Out, a local organization dedicated to suicide prevention.
The show is free and will also feature a performance from opener Ages & Ages.
The event will be Avon’s first benefit concert to be held on the town’s stage, and for Speak Up, Reach Out. It will be a big opportunity to help spread the organization’s message — that suicide needs to be discussed.
“We need to get over the stigma of talking about suicide,” said Avon Police Chief Greg Daly, who is also the Speak Up, Reach Out board president. “The only way people are going to seek help is if they feel they can talk about it.”
THE SUICIDE BELT
The Rocky Mountain region has earned the nickname “the suicide belt” in recent years due to the higher-than-average number of people taking their own lives in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho. That prompted the town of Avon in 2009 to help start the Speak Up, Reach Out group, with a primary goal of trying to prevent suicide in Eagle County.
Speak Up, Reach Out has since blossomed into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is trying to achieve its stated goal through education, outreach and availability of services.
“The biggest thing, obviously, is giving hope to people who are in desperation,” Daly said. “For people contemplating suicide, they need to be able to turn to somebody and seek help.”
Members of the community also need to be able to recognize the warning signs, which is another goal of Speak Up, Reach Out. If those warning signs are present, “people need to have the courage to approach that conversation,” Daly said.
“Many people feel it’s a personal issue to start talking about somebody’s mental health, but if you care about that person, you really have to,” Daly added.
‘WHEN I’M GONE’
By talking about suicide in a different atmosphere — a fun and lively concert venue — Daly is hoping the Speak Up, Reach Out message will reach more people.
“It will be an upbeat, family concert, with people outside, enjoying the beautiful summer weather,” Daly said. “We’re hoping this will be a good opportunity to let people know that there are people here in this county who truly care that you are having a crisis.”
Mipso may have been the perfect choice to help spread Speak Up, Reach Out message, as their popular 2013 song “When I’m Gone” is itself a phrase that could be a warning sign, especially if prefixed by “They’ll be sorry” or something similar.
“One of the common themes we hear is a person said something, and those who heard it didn’t realize that’s what they were thinking,” Daly said. “We’re trying to get the person who is hearing these statements to be more acutely aware of statements like that one, subtle statements. Are you mad about something at home or work, or is a larger statement about your place on Earth?”
Wednesday’s concert is free to the public and will feature a family happy hour offering half-price food between 5 and 6 p.m. Attendees are invited to enter to win one of three pairs of Skull Candy Bluetooth headphones between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the merchandise tent. The Kids Zone will be open during the event and features face painting and the much heralded Cave of Confusion, which is a 3D interactive maze. A collection of fresh brews from Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Blue Moon, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy and native craft beers, refreshing spirits and non-alcoholic beverages will be sold.