CU-Boulder To Launch Suicide Prevention Program April 3

March 31, 2008

The University of Colorado at Boulder will launch a social marketing campaign on Thursday, April 3, designed to help prevent suicide called "Don't Erase Your Future."

The Thursday launch will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the South Terrace of the University Memorial Center. In case of rain or snow on Thursday, the launch date will be changed to Friday, April 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the UMC South Terrace.

At the launch, six local artists will create sidewalk chalk drawings of the historic figures featured in the campaign, including Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King and others, said Amy Robertson of the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services.

The goal of the campaign is to prevent suicide by promoting a campus norm that honors achievement and competition while encouraging and allowing students to seek support when it is needed. The "Don't Erase Your Future" campaign is a multifaceted initiative of print ads, posters and transit ads purposely designed to be provocative and thought provoking in its outreach to students.

The campaign is funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and supported by the Office of Suicide Prevention of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The campaign uses quotes from prominent individuals of the past, such as Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Madame Curie asking the unsettling question: "What if they had died by suicide?" Their quotes are placed on a chalkboard and erased, pointing out how, if they had died by suicide, all of their successes and what they offered the world would have been lost.

The campaign also includes information about the personal and not-widely-known struggles these individuals overcame.

The campaign is operated under the auspices of CU-Boulder Project Safety Net, a part of CU-Boulder's Counseling and Psychological Services in the division of Student Affairs. The campaign was designed by Better World Advertising and was originally created for the University of California-Irvine Health Education Center with funding from SAMHSA.

For more information on the campaign, go to: www.donteraseyourfuture.org/. For information on the UC Irvine campaign go to: www.flickr.com/photos/20394648@N03/ .

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