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Hike, wear yellow and act during National Suicide Prevention Month

SpeakUp ReachOut, Eagle County’s local suicide prevention coalition, has numerous events planned for September

Erin Ivie, the executive director of SpeakUp ReachOut, holds a box of 50 live butterflies about to launch while reading “Lessons from a Butterfly” at Saturday’s memorial event at Freedom Park in Edwards. "When we find ourselves cocooned in isolation and despair and cannot find our way in the darkness, remember, that this is similar to the place where butterflies grow their wings," Ivie said.
Courtesy SpeakUp ReachOut

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and SpeakUp ReachOut has a number of local events planned for the month following its annual memorial event last weekend.

The first SpeakUp ReachOut event is Thursday’s virtual screening of Kevin Hines’ documentary: “Suicide: The Ripple Effect.” Hines will also be the featured speaker during a Sept. 23 event at Battle Mountain High School that will also include a local panel of behavioral health experts. The event is part of the Vail Daily’s Longevity Project series, which is focusing on behavioral health issues in Eagle County.



The entire community ages 10 and up are invited to attend Thursday’s screening, and registration is required. Hines miraculously survived his suicide attempt from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and subsequently became a world-renowned mental health advocate and motivational speaker.

His personal story is a catalyst for understanding why suicide prevention is so important and vital to saving lives. A conversational style panel discussion will take place after the screening featuring local pastor Molly Booker, Construction Company owner Dave Dantas and Eagle Valley Behavioral Health’s Kala Bettis.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



Wear Yellow Day, a new event for SpeakUp ReachOut, will happen Friday, Sept. 10 — the World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day. Join SpeakUp ReachOut for an early morning roundabout Honk-and-Wave, and wear yellow on this day.

Additional Wear Yellow Day partners are two local middle school-based Hope Squads at Homestake Peak School and Gypsum Creek Middle School.

“Show your support for this important public health issue by posting your photos with a hashtag ‘eaglecountywearyellow’ and tag SpeakUp ReachOut,” said Erin Ivie, the executive director of SpeakUp ReachOut, in a news release.

SpeakUp ReachOut is also hosting two Hikes For Change on a short loop in Beaver Creek Resort on Sept. 12 and 26. The hikes will offer a chance to recreate outdoors while having informal conversations about mental health in Eagle County. Both hikes are a great opportunity to learn more about SpeakUp ReachOut’s mission and how to get involved.

On Sept. 7, the Eagle County Commissioners will read a resolution declaring September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Eagle County.

“It is significant to have our local government backing our efforts and we are grateful for the county commissioners and Eagle County’s support,” Ivie said.

The evidenced-based Signs of Suicide program that teaches the ACT method (Acknowledge, Care and Tell) will also launch in September throughout many Eagle County Schools in 16 different classrooms reaching students in grades five through nine. SpeakUp ReachOut’s goal is to train every fifth through 12th grade student before the end of the school year.

These hourlong classes teach students how to identify the warning signs of suicide and reach out to a trusted adult for help.

“We are grateful to local schools for their partnership and support of these life-saving classes for our local youth. We know our youth are struggling and we want to make sure they know where and how to get help,” Ivie said.

For more information, visit SpeakUpReachOut.org.


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