In August through October of 2012, I held a workshop for 40 students at Tumo Center for Creative Technology which lead to the designing and creation of 40 posters for social change.
In January through March of 2013, the posters were designed into an exhibit by 15 new students. The result was an exhibit entitled “CHANGE!” which showcased what changes that would benefit the health, development, humanity and environment of our society.
As part of the workshop we had developed a real-world application of posters that could contribute to civil society and social change; the Kievyan Bridge.
The Kievyan Bridge is frequently in news headlines owing to multiple suicide attempts each year. We had discussed the possibility of adding color and liveliness to the Kievyan bridge with positive message. The result were these posters. The messages read in succession respectively:
"It's a bad day, not a bad life."
"There's someone who needs you."
"Someone loves you."
"The future is bright."
After some research we realized that the advertising of such emotional concepts of love, need, future and relationships in general could be a trigger for someone who is already at-risk of committing suicide.
I then created a proposal, together with local psychologists, to establish a suicide hotline in Armenia (the first of its kind.) We presented the proposal together with the incumbent US ambassador in Yerevan and received positive feedback.
A suicide hotline in Armenia is something that is essential, necessary and would contribute greatly for many who seek supportive, anonymous counseling who otherwise would have nowhere else to turn.