The black SOS plasters return for World Suicide Prevention Week

Suicide prevention centre Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) has partnered with TBWA\Singapore to continue the Plaster the Silence campaign as part of World Suicide Prevention Week. The #Howru campaign encourages everyone to show support by wearing a black SOS plaster on their inner wrists.

The aim of the plaster is to start conversations, emphasising that the first step to suicide prevention is getting people to open up about their feelings and their experiences. Last year's campaign saw the late former President of Singapore, SR Nathan, fronting the suicide prevention campaign.

Brands that will be coming on board to support the cause include Hansaplast which donated media space across 10 stores where they have retail presence and Mediacorp which has sponsored outdoor space at bus shelters. Golden Village and WE cinemas have also donated their advertising space for a special 60-second commercial.

Local celebrities and personalities have also chimed in on the cause, they include local talents Kelly Latimer, Hirzi Zulkiflie, radio DJ Sonia Chew, actress Felicia Chin and singer Nat Ho.

Lawrence Wong, minister for national development and second minister for finance, has also pledged his support for the campaign. Blog Advertising Community Nuffnang has also agreed to help create awareness about the campaign through their network of bloggers.

This year’s campaign allows supporters to download a virtual plaster which they can add to their social media profile pictures to help spread awareness. Black SOS plasters will be given out at several locations throughout Singapore from 10 September, particularly in areas frequented by teenagers.

This ranges from local food and beverage outlets and entertainment venues as well as cafes which are distributing the black SOS plasters attached to drink coasters and coffee cup sleeves. Fashion retail outlets are using their store’s mannequins to spread awareness of the cause.

“The concept behind the campaign is about paying attention to those around you right here, right now. Suicide prevention is more than just about the relevant professionals averting crises in an emergency situation. It starts with all of us doing something every day, in our own little ways,” Christine Wong, executive director of SOS, said.

“Last year’s campaign did well, however our work isn’t done and we hope to keep the conversation going to create awareness by distributing even more plasters this year,” said Edmund Choe, regional chief creative officer of TBWA. “Hopefully, we can prevent more suicide cases from happening.”

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