HINDMAN. HICKENLOOPER. SPENCER. CONRAD. ALL ADD UP TO A MAHOGANY
As a ramp up to Cactus' upcoming suicide prevention campaign, developed in partnership with the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention and the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, men from all over the state join Governor Hickenlooper and former Governor Ritter to raise money for suicide prevention and get a sneak peak at Man Therapy.
Campaign History –– A story of determination and partnership.
In 2006, as a part of our partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Cactus was introduced to Jarrod Hindman, Director of the Office of Suicide Prevention (OSP). He was running an underfunded program to address the critically important issue of suicide in Colorado. Cactus agreed to do some pro bono work for the program. Through that process the agency learned a great deal about this issue and was introduced to the Carson J Spencer Foundation (CJSF), a local non-profit dedicated to suicide prevention. CJSF was founded in 2005 after its namesake, Carson Spencer, a 34-year-old Denver businessman, died by suicide following a difficult battle with bipolar disorder. Together, the three –– Cactus, OSP and CJSF –– formed a partnership to try to reach working aged men who were potentially high risk for suicide and unlikely to seek help on their own.
With a $25,000 contribution from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and $5,000 allocated from a larger Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention grant, we developed a comprehensive public education plan while conducting some very insightful and thrifty research studies. Fortunately, the Office of Suicide Prevention landed some untapped state dollars for a one-time, $400,000 campaign. Cactus competed for the contract in a competitive, state-bid process and was awarded the contract in 2009. However, a week after the contract was signed, we were informed that due to state budget cuts the entire grant and contract was cancelled. We were once again left with nothing but a really great plan and zero budget to implement it. Not to be deterred, the partnership forged ahead to launch this vital campaign. Serendipitously, we heard the Anschutz Foundation was looking to invest in a suicide prevention program. We jumped on the opportunity and submitted a grant proposal on behalf of a private/public/non-profit partnership between Cactus, Office of Suicide Prevention at CDPHE and the Carson J Spencer Foundation. We were awarded a challenge grant from the Anschutz Foundation to seed and build a campaign while establishing a sustainable effort in Colorado and beyond.