SpeakUp ReachOut to host comedian Vinnie Montez
Comedian and police officer shines a light on men’s mental health
SpeakUp ReachOut is elevating the importance of men’s mental health Dec. 1 with a free dinner and comedy show featuring Comedy Works’ Vinnie Montez.
Montez got into comedy as a way to deal with the stress of his day job of being a police officer in Denver.
“I used to be ashamed of my struggles with mental health,” Montez said. “Comedy, a protected art form, provided me with an outlet and empowers me.”
SpeakUp ReachOut aims to empower the local male community and those who support the men in their life to learn through laughter.
“Men’s mental health is extremely important, and we are always looking for ways to teach our community the value in being vulnerable and seeking help,” said Erin Ivie, executive director of SpeakUp ReachOut. “We really want to encourage the men in our community to open up about their feelings on a regular basis, know that it’s OK to need and to seek help.“
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This special attention on men’s mental health is not a new initiative for SpeakUp ReachOut. The Gun Shop Project, Man Therapy and previous speakers have shined a light on this topic within Eagle County. SpeakUp ReachOut has also worked closely with local therapists to provide continuing education for how to best serve local men.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men died by suicide 3.63 times more often as women in 2019. Social norms have taught men that they don’t have permission to show and share their feelings and that if they do, they’ll be perceived as weak.
“We want to change people’s minds about these myths and shift social norms so that men know it’s OK to not be OK,” Ivie said. “We know that local lifestyles can be difficult and that many men are suffering from anxiety, depression, loneliness and isolation.”
On Dec. 1, SpeakUp ReachOut will host Montez at Donovan Pavilion. A Guy’s Grab Bag will be given away, and guests will enjoy delectable appetizers by Grazing Fox and a hearty dinner by Moe’s Original BBQ. The evening is sponsored by Eagle Valley Behavioral Health and the town of Vail.
SpeakUp ReachOut, founded in 2009, exists to prevent suicide prevention in the Eagle River Valley through training, awareness and hope. Visit speakupreachout.org to learn more.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call The Hope Center of the Eagle Valley at 970-306-HOPE (4673) or Colorado Crisis Services at 844-493-8255.
When: Dec. 1, doors open at 6:15 p.m., event ends at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Donovan Pavilion
Who: 18 and older, PG-13 content
Why: Taking Care of Our Men Through Laughter
Cost: FREE, register at speakupreachout.org