It is always a great pleasure to welcome to the podcast former colleagues who have gone on to do incredibly purposeful and inspiring work in the world. Today’s guest, Erin Ivie, was a cherished team member with me at Plum TV in Vail, CO back in the day and is currently the Executive Director of Speak Up Reach Out, a non-profit whose mission is to prevent suicide in Eagle County, CO through training, awareness, and hope. Erin shares the very personal story of losing her best friend Luke to suicide in 2007 and how that set her out on her current path. She and her team rely on many different constituencies to accomplish their mission, ranging from citizens, teachers, and other educators to local businesses, healthcare workers, and law enforcement. Don’t think you have a role to play in suicide prevention? Well, you do! Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and studies show that one-third of middle schoolers experience suicidal ideation. The enduing stress and anxiety of the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. EVERYONE has a role in preventing suicide. If you are struggling or are concerned about someone you know, tune in to learn about common signs of depression and effective questions to pose to if you pick up on those signs. And if you’re in a formal leadership position, listen up for provisions to add to your sick leave policy to support mental health, consult the invaluable resources on their website (including the very cool set of Coping Cards), and bookmark workplacesuicideprevention.com.