Campaign rationale

We are in unprecedented times for suicide and suicidal ideation. There is one suicide death in the US every 11 minutes. The pandemic, global warming, economic uncertainty and political upheaval have had extremely detrimental effects on the mental health and wellness of huge swaths of our population. It is critical that we find ways to speak to the many other people that are so lost in such hopelessness that suicide feels like their best option.

Idea Engineering’s latest Turn-Key Campaign, STAY is such a way. It is built on a simple, pragmatic request: that people considering suicide, STAY and reach out for help. Just that request, to STAY, infers love. It indicates value; that we want people to stay and heal.

STAY is a request that is easy for anyone to make and understand. As we say in one of the PSA’s: “If you don’t know what to say, start with STAY.” So many opportunities for conversations are lost by people unsure of what the right words might be. Stay, as a word and a campaign, provides an easier on-ramp for conversation with a person for whom you have concern.

We believe that the STAY campaign is an opportunity to turn hopelessness into hope. That by asking people to stay and reach out, it gives critical time and resources for lives to be saved. As has been said before: “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” The goal of the STAY campaign is for people to give themselves time and find the support to end their pain, not their life.

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Campaign packages

Components include:

  • Broadcast TV PSAs
  • Digital video PSAs
  • Radio PSAs
  • Posters & flyers
  • Digital banner ads
  • Social media and website graphics
  • Campaign microsite with editable resource list
  • English and Spanish materials (additional languages available)

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STAY Campaign Advisors

Professor Mx. Vanessa Alva

Oxnard college addictive disorder studies program. 

“As a survivor of suicide and a suicide loss survivor. My contributions goes to all who are struggling from any type of suicide loss/attempt. I hope this campaign gives strength and light to those who are feeling lost. Lastly, I plant this seed for my son Aaron to be a future changemaker of the world and to advocate for those in need of support.” 


Marie Celeste, Ed.D

Tenured faculty member in early childhood special education at Loyola University, with a credential in Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health (I/ECMH). In preparing early childhood educators at the pre-service, undergraduate and graduate levels, she embraces a trauma-informed approach to supporting the social emotional development of children who are at-risk for educational challenges. 


James Espinoza

First-responder, US Army veteran, and suicide loss survivor. President of the Veteran Mentor Project, Inc., the mission of which is to enhance military veterans & first responder veterans’ transition from service to civilian life in order to reduce stress, provide resources & education to improve their quality of life.


Jim Kooler, DrPH

Served the California Department of Health Care Services in multiple positions, helping develop and guide the CalHOPE Crisis Counseling program, implementation of 988, and elements of the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative. Previously he led the California Friday Night Live Partnership, supporting youth development programs across California.  


Erik Kramer

Former NFL quarterback. Suicide attempt survivor. Erik puts his lived experience to work for children and adults facing substance use issues, depression and suicidal ideation.

Paul Meisel, PhD

Clinical psychologist in Santa Barbara, CA engaged in an independent practice with a special focus issues relating to children, adolescents, and their families.


Ken Reed (Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, Retired)

Former Army infantry officer who led and commanded at the platoon, company, and battalion levels. His service included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His final leadership role on active duty was battalion commander for a functional training battalion.


Anthony Rodriguez

Co-founder of the Santa Barbara Response Network, focused on providing immediate psychological assistance to those affected by homicides, suicides and traumatic events. Suicide attempt survivor. Anthony is also involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Safeguard the Children.

Kiran Sahota

Kiran Sahota, President of Concepts Forward Consulting, has worked within the social service setting for the past three decades. Her expertise is focused on suicide prevention efforts, mental health advocacy, stakeholder engagement, innovations, and law enforcement crisis intervention training.


Elizabeth Snyder

Senior Director - Administrative Services with Marian Regional Medical Center (Dignity Health) - Office of Population Health. Previously Santa Barbara County-Public Health Department Deputy Director. 35 years of experience as a health care executive in hospitals, ambulatory settings, and universities, including public, private, non-profit and consulting environments.

Idea Engineering campaign advisors are ad-hoc groups formed for the purpose of giving advice and feedback for a specific campaign. Each advisor brings their specific experience and opinion to the process. Advisors have no control over final direction or components of the campaign. No advisor receives monetary renumeration or any promise of advantage or reward from the finished campaign. We thank them for their service and recognize that our campaigns are stronger and more effective through their commitment, advice, and feedback.

We would additionally like to extend our thanks to the Sheppard Agency, Erik Sheppard, and all of the creative talents involved with acting and voicing this campaign. All of them gave their heart and their finest work and did so at scale rates as a measure of their commitment to getting this important message into the world.

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