The Irish Embassy Pub

Clovers for Courage: The Irish Embassy Pub launches Suicide Awareness Campaign

IE- Clovers for Courage painted rocks-webPainted rocks. They seem to be all the rage everywhere across the country (and internationally). Everywhere that is, except Durango. Cindy Coleman, owner of Duck Girl Art and the Marketing Director for the Irish Embassy Pub was traveling to Missouri this summer and painted rocks were all anyone was talking about. “We were having a family reunion and my cousins in Missouri, Illinois, and Florida were all talking about painting rocks. So I decided to look into it.”

If you Google “painted rocks” you’ll see many different groups that participate. The idea is that you paint a rock – you can paint anything on it, from rainbows to ladybugs to uplifting sayings – and you hide it in a public place for others to find. It’s a treasure hunt, a random act of kindness to brighten someone’s day. Sometimes you win a prize if you find a rock, sometimes it’s to raise money for a cause.

And raising money is exactly what the Irish Embassy Pub intends to do. “Suicides are an issue in our community and it seems that everyone is saying ‘what can I do to help? How can we prevent this from happening?’” said Phil Brennan, manager of the Irish Embassy Pub. “We thought this was a great opportunity to do something about it.”

The Irish Embassy has hidden 25 painted rocks along the river trail. “We wanted to put a spin on the Animas River being the ‘River of Lost Souls’. We all love the river and want it to remain a special place in our town. This just adds to one of the fun things you can do at the river,” said Cindy Coleman. They’re calling the project “Clovers for Courage” and each of the 25 rocks has a four-leaf clover printed on them. The lucky rocks can be brought into the Pub and redeemed for a prize, ranging from a free appetizer with a purchase of an entrée, to the golden rock – a $100 gift card to the Irish Embassy Pub. Once you’ve redeemed the rock, it has no “treasure” value, but the Irish Embassy is encouraging others to paint rocks and hide them as well. That’s where the fundraising begins.

Paint your own rock – with whatever you’d like (although clovers are fun and easy!). Be sure to coat your rock with a finish so the message/image doesn’t wash away with the weather. Then take a photo of your rock and post it to the Irish Embassy’s facebook page Then you can hide your rock. Be sure to place your rock somewhere where it won’t hurt anyone and out of the way of grass (lawnmowers). For each painted rock that it is posted to the Pub’s facebook page in September, they’ll donate $5 to the Southern Ute Community Action Program (SUCAP)’s Gatekeepers Program. “Gatekeepers are people who have been trained to engage with persons at imminent risk of suicide and connect them with professional help,” said Peter Tregillus, SUCAP Programs Developer. The training program is called QPR, with a lifesaving function as critical as CPR.  QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer.  SUCAP is now scheduling QPR sessions for after Labor Day.  (

San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) has been promoting suicide awareness and prevention efforts in the community through their State Innovation Model (SIM) program with a Suicide Prevention Community Summit last May, suicide awareness and prevention trainings for community members, and Let’s Talk Colorado (, a stigma reduction campaign focused on increasing conversation around mental health issues. Claire Ninde, Director of Communications for SJBPH says “Every effort to support mental health and suicide prevention is welcomed and can only help to support those in our community who struggle with these issues.” More information can be found on SJBPH’s website:

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