From the editor: Let’s keep the mental health conversation going
Today marks the first week of the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Longevity Project series titled “Building Resilience.” The series, which will run on Mondays through Sept. 20, takes another look at mental health and well-being and is an extension of our six-week “Out of the Shadows” series that published in June and July.
We begin the Longevity series by focusing on suicide and what resources exist locally to prevent it. The topic is a tough one but something we must be willing to openly discuss and address as a community. As we reported in our earlier series, Routt County had seven suicides in 2020, which is seven too many.
This first article in the series serves as an introduction to our Longevity event, which will be held Sept. 22 at Colorado Mountain Steamboat Springs. It will feature a QPR training session offered by REPS — Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide — followed by keynote speaker Kevin Hines, who is an award-winning, internationally known speaker, best-selling author, documentary filmmaker and suicide prevention and mental health advocate.
Hines survived a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge two years after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His miraculous survival story is gripping, and he now travels the world sharing his story of hope, healing and recovery and advocating for wellness and resilience.
What: The Longevity Project Live Event
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in the Yampa Valley. This year’s project will focus on the critical and relevant topic of mental health. Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 22, for presentations from keynote speaker Kevin Hines and Mindy Marriott, executive director of REPS (Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide) in Steamboat Springs.
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22
Where: Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs, 1275 Crawford Ave.
More info: Visit SteamboatPilot.com/Longevity
QPR stands for question, persuade and refer, and the training session offered by REPS will give people of all ages an understanding of the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. The Pilot & Today appreciates its partnership with REPS, an organization of volunteers dedicated to saving lives and the overarching goal of stopping suicide in the Yampa Valley.
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.
The second installment in the series, which will publish Sept. 6, will take a look at how being outside can have a positive effect on our mental well-being, and in the third week, on Sept. 13, we’ll focus specifically on how COVID-19 has impacted mental health locally. In the final week, you’ll learn more about Hines and how his suicide attempt changed his life and led him on a journey to help others learn to live with mental health challenges and live long, healthy lives.
In connection with Longevity, we invite readers to engage with the #Move4MentalHealth campaign that the Pilot & Today launched with “Out of the Shadows.” This Facebook group now has almost 400 members who use the space to post about their mental health journey and ways they maintain their emotional well-being. It’s an inspiring page, which can be a rarity on social media, and I invite you to check it out and join the #Move4MentalHealth movement.
“Out of the Shadows” sparked a dialogue about mental health, and we’re hoping to keep the conversation going with Longevity. I hope you’ll read the series and plan to attend the Sept. 22 Longevity event. For additional information, visit SteamboatPilot.com/longevity.
To reach Lisa Schlichtman, call 970-871-4221, email lschlichtman@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @lschlichtman.
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The Longevity Project event, sponsored by Steamboat Pilot & Today, has shifted from in-person to virtual. The keynote speaker Kevin Hines contracted COVID-19, and he will now be presenting his talk remotely.