‘You’re not alone’ Suicide Awareness and Prevention Variety Show organized to spread hope
It’s time to do something, and for Coco Jem Holiday, that means music, dancing or telling your story.
So Holiday, who organizes “Wednesgay” at Barons Grill and is the “C” in The CD’s Drag and Jewell Case, decided put together the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Variety Show.
Doors will open at 7 p.m. for the show on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Barons, 539 Colorado Ave.
“There are so many people affected by suicide,” she said.
They know someone — friends, family or themselves — dealing with depression or who attempted or completed suicide, she said.
And suicide has been prominent in the thoughts of many in the community with the recent deaths of local music promoter Cash Kiser, area teenagers and others, said Holiday, who is organizing the variety show under her stage name.
The show will feature local musicians and bands, dancers, speakers and more. It will be entertaining, positive and a safe environment for those wanting to share stories or learn about area services, Holiday said.
“I feel it’s important to raise awareness,” said Misti Dawn, who plays the ukulele and likes to do jazz standards and recent covers. She is one of the musicians set to perform at the variety show.
“I think people are afraid to reach out for help sometimes, especially when they are surrounded by people who love them,” Dawn said.
Perhaps they just don’t think they can tell a friend or loved one or they don’t want to disappoint someone, she said.
Dawn has hope there will be some encouraged by the variety show to seek the help they need to address depression or thoughts of suicide.
There also is healing needed for those grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide.
“I see music as a form of therapy,” said Dawn, who in the past has volunteered her time and music with Help Heal Veterans and other veterans organizations.
Along with music and dancing, there will be speakers such as Devin Pinkston, counselor and owner of Identity Insights and president of PFLAG of Grand Junction.
She will be talking about PFLAG (formerly known as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), what she offers as a counseling provider and how she can help connect people to other area mental health services.
“I’m hoping that a lot of people will show up. When it comes to suicide it’s not just one specific community,” Pinkston said. “It looks different for different people.”
Along with organization representatives talking about the services they offer, individuals attending the event will be invited to tell their stories.
“Everyone’s story is unique,” Pinkston said. “I want people to share what they are comfortable with. It takes a lot of bravery.”
Pinkston and Holiday are looking for meaningful and positive stories told in segments of about five minutes each “to just give people hope,” Pinkston said.
Between when the doors open for the event at 7 p.m. and when the show starts at 8 p.m. would be the best time for those who would like to speak to sign up to do so, Holiday said.
Admission to the variety show will be $3 and it will be open to all ages. All of those admission fees will be given to an area suicide awareness and prevention organization, the name of which Holiday plans to announce at the show.
And for those who are depressed or thinking about suicide right now, “seek out help even if that help is talking to a friend or family member or calling 911 ... let someone know you need someone there for you right now,” Pinkston said. “You’re not alone.”