CTSAB “1 WORD, 1 VOICE, 1 LIFE…Be the 1 to start the conversation”

The Campaign was developed spring 2011–spring 2012 through collaboration with the Central CT State University (CCSU) Graphic Arts Program. Twenty CCSU young adult undergraduate students worked over two semesters to create the original campaign material and foundation pages for the state website. During the development process, one student disclosed suicidal thoughts to peers in the project, and with the guidance of the material content and CCSU staff, successfully accessed help.

Originally, the Campaign was directed at older adolescents and young adults – both as gatekeepers and as those at risk of suicide, but since has been expanded to address various populations across the lifespan and their health and behavioral health care providers. The campaign also promotes the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1(800)273-TALK(8255) or in CT 211. As the campaign was developed and is maintained with the use of state and federal dollars, print and promotional materials, video PSAs, and campaign graphics are available at no cost, and advocates are encouraged to create their own promotional materials and ads with the graphics to extend the reach of the campaign.

Release of the Campaign occurred on April 4, 2012 during a lunch presentation at the Kick-Off of the CT Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative (2011-2014) funded by the federal Garrett Lee Smith State Youth Suicide Prevention Cooperative Agreements supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Mental Health Services, administered locally by the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), advised by the CTSAB. In addition, the CTSAB held a Press Conference on September 10, 2012—World Suicide Prevention Day at the State Capitol—which included prevention statements from survivor families, a prayer from a CT National Guard Chaplain, a speech by the DMHAS Commissioner, and 371 yellow, blue and orange carnations donated by the CT Florist Association representing CT lives lost to suicide in 2011.

In 2015 alone, according to the Google analytics, total website page views were 12,739 with 4,625 users, and 5,576 sessions of people from over 10 states (Top 5: CT, NY, MA, CA, VA), and 10 countries (Top 5: US, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Italy). Material requests via the website came from 88 agencies and 9 individuals, and 19,553 print materials and 6,751 stress balls were disseminated. Lastly, since 2012, 188 individuals used the website to join the Network of Care, others sign up at meetings.

The Campaign has been utilized by multiple advocates statewide, and other US states and their campuses have acquired materials and tailored them for their own use. It has even been admired by multiple Tribal Nations at national grantee meetings. June 2013, the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) congratulated the CTSAB in winning the first ever AAS and National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide t-shirt contest, “Every T-shirt has a Story.”