CHEYENNE, Wyo. (July 21, 2022) – Cheyenne Frontier Days is tackling suicide awareness and prevention with a new campaign aimed at individuals attending and participating in “Daddy of ‘em All” events. They have enlisted the help of country music star Garth Brooks in promoting a campaign built around the role of the rodeo Pick Up Man in the arena.
The campaign encourages people to “reach out to a Pick Up Man or be a Pick Up Man for someone in need.” People contemplating suicide are directed to the new nationwide 988 Suicide Prevention Hotline. Individuals who see friends, family members, or neighbors struggling with mental health are encouraged to reach out.
“Our western culture of independence and self-reliance may inhibit people from seeking help, or people from offering help,” Tom Hirsig, CFD CEO said. “In rodeo, we call the pick up man a lifesaver in the arena. Every cowboy knows the pick up man is out there to help, to give a hand. And the athletes do not hesitate to reach out for help. We want everyone to use that example in their lives.”
A public service video featuring Garth Brooks will be played during rodeo and night show performances. The video was recorded at the request of and specifically for the CFD Pick up Man campaign. “Words cannot express our deep appreciation to Garth Books for his assistance in this important effort,” Hirsig said.
The campaign acknowledges that suicide rates in the Rocky Mountain West are among the highest in the nation. The CFD effort is intended to raise awareness and places a priority on connecting individuals to the national hotline, where appropriate counseling can be provided.
CFD will be selling “Pick Up Man” hat feathers and necklaces with as part of the campaign with net proceeds being given to local suicide prevention efforts.