Skating for Suicide Awareness & Mental Health

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Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Committee members, Elliot and Nate Hendren are skating brothers, proudly showing off their new “I Rise Above” hoodies given away during the Skate Park Jam, by the Southern Ute Behavioral Health Dept., Friday, Sept. 24 at the “Píníinu Núuchí” Skate Park. The purpose of the Skate Jam was to bring awareness to suicide and mental health.
Public Relations Coordinator Trennie Collins helps attendee, Carol Baker sign up for a raffle on Friday, Sept. 24 at the Pino Nuche Skate Park.
Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory member, Nate Hendren thanks everyone for their attendance of the Skate Park Jam event and also their support of the Pino Nuche Skate Park.
Southern Ute Vice Chairman, Bruce Valdez introduced the Southern Ute Tribal Council members in attendance and discussed the importance of mental health discussions for individuals and within the community.
COVID-19 precautions were highly encouraged during the event, with masks and hand sanitizer available throughout the event. Precious Collins gives a “one-use” hand sanitizer to attendee Marie Joy.
Southern Ute elder and spiritual leader Eddie Box Jr., spoke to those in attendance at the Skate Jam event, before giving an invocation. Southern Ute Health Center Native Connections Program Manager, Precious Collins and SunUte Director Robin Duffy-Wirth were both active participants and their respective departments helped sponsor the event.
Executive Programs Director for The Hive Durango, Kelsie Borland gave away skateboarding safety equipment during one of the raffles held at the Skate Jam event. The Hive Durango is a non-profit Art, Music, Skateboarding collective operating out of Durango, Colo.
1. Southern Ute Vice Chairman, Bruce Valdez takes a scooter for a spin around the new skatepark.
Maynard Taylor rushes up the quarter pipe of the new Píinuu Nuuchi Skate Park at the Skate Park Jam.
Youth and adults brought their skateboards, scooters, and bikes – performing jumps and taking a ride on the wild side by doing cool tricks.
SunUte Fitness Trainer, Eliyah Lucero feeds the demand for snow cones at the Skate Park Jam event.
Shayne White Thunder takes an easy-going stroll on a scooter in the evening at the Skate Park Jam event.
Snow cones abound, as SunUte Director Robin Duffy-Wirth hands out free cones trying to beat the end of summer heat.
Robert L. Ortiz | SU Drum
Fabian Martinez | SU Drum
Fabian Martinez | SU Drum
Fabian Martinez | SU Drum
Fabian Martinez | SU Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | SU Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | SU Drum
Trennie Collins | SU Drum
Trennie Collins | SU Drum
Trennie Collins | SU Drum
Trennie Collins | SU Drum
Trennie Collins | SU Drum
Trennie Collins | SU Drum
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The Skate Park Jam was held at Píinuu Nuuchi Skate Park on Friday, Sept. 24. Free snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, dinner and swag were handed out at the event. This was a collaboration between the Southern Ute Division of Behavioral Health, Native Connections Program, Division of Social Services, Public Relations, SunUte Community and Southern Ute Culture Preservation Department and emceed by REZ-olution Radio Hour DJ, Robert Ortiz (KSUT Tribal Radio). September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month and some Southern Ute Tribal Departments thought it would be an innovative idea to collaborate on a skate park event to introduce the new space and get outside. In Native American communities, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in youth ages 18-24 years of age. Promoting outside activities, fresh air and sports can highly reduce the risk around suicide and promotes mental health, working on the prevention aspect side of things. 

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