SEL | PBIS | Safe & Healthy Students

Celebrating Hope, Resilience, Self-Compassion & Empathy Through UBU Arts Integration Residencies



Find Your Voice | Tell Your Story | Share Your Hope.

Utilize Your UBU Project Prevention Residency To Create Peer-Led Support Groups & Outreach Programs Within Your School,  District and Community

UBU Project Substance Abuse Prevention and Anti-Bullying Residencies are also Available Utilizing this Engaging Process  

All UBU Project Residencies are Tailored to Your Needs, Goals and Guidelines

 Much like the Saturday morning cartoon Schoolhouse Rock™, UBU Project Arts Integration Social Emotional Residencies utilize performing arts skills and curricula to support and enhance the work already being done within your social emotional learning curriculum. The exciting difference with UBU Project Arts Integration Residencies is that all of the songs and scripts are created by your students. 

The perfect addition to any organization's Social-Emotional Curriculum | Safe & Healthy Students Programming, UBU Prevention Residencies follow the model of all UBU Project Arts Integration Curriculum (as based upon the principles of Socratic Seminar)  increasing student meta-cognition of the subject matter at hand through a guided, interactive process which is,

  • Student-led
  • Project-based
  • Goal-oriented
  • Arts-infused

Likewise, with our UBU Prevention Residencies, we explore the neuro-plasticity of the human brain by creating the foundational steps of encouraging healthy, new neuro-pathways in all participants.  This process is achieved through UBU's hope-filled, creative, interactive classroom techniques, methods and materials. Every UBU prevention residency is a celebration of life based upon positive self-discovery, making healthy choices and advancing the life-narrative of all involved towards an affirming sense of wholeness and self-compassion. 

As teaching artists, we fully recognize the need to maintain a full and informed awareness of this highly delicate subject matter.  Therefore, we maintain ongoing communication with, and support from, mental health care and education professionals. The facts we deal with on a daily basis are truly sobering:

  • The leading cause of death for children ages 10 - 14 in Arizona is Suicide 
  • Over a recent ten year period there were over 1,300 reported suicides in children ages 5-14. 
    • Kindergartners are committing suicide
  • According to NAMI  (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
    • 20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition
    • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages  10-24 nationwide.
    • 90% of those people who died by suicide had an underlying mental illness

These young people need to find their voice, build a foundation of hope and share their stories before it is too late. Therefore, through ongoing consultation, support and encouragement from experts in education, executive function and child psychology/childhood trauma, The UBU Project tailors every prevention residency to the needs, guidelines and procedures of every host school, community or organization.

Contact Us for Details and  

For more information from NAMI please follow this link:

UBU Suicide and Substance Prevention Videos

UBU Suicide Prevention: Student Reflections

UBU Suicide Prevention: Faculty | Staff | Admin Reflections

UBU Student Reflections: Suicide Prevention | Peer Mentoring

UBU Project "Lyric Video" All lyrics by UBU Project/IntelliSchools Residency Students

UBU Students perform their original song: "Celebrate Life!"

UBU Substance ABUSE Prevention: original Student songs

The True Story Inspiring UBU Prevention Residencies


Notes from UBU Project Founder and Creative Director David Simmons:

On March 31, 2009 I woke up, lied to my wife and told her everything was fine, then, through a variety of drastic modalities, attempted to take my own life.  This was not a cry for help. This was my violent, final attempt to end myself. Had I not been found and saved when I was, I would not be alive right now. After seven and a half weeks on a locked psyche ward I was discharged with the following diagnosis; Major Depressive Disorder Recurrent. It was discovered that I had been living with this mental illness for over 40 years and it had never been properly discussed, diagnosed or treated. However, my recovery has been so remarkable that when I tell this story it’s as if I’m talking about a book I once read written by someone else about a completely different person. I have learned the difference between living with mental illness, and living with managed mental illness.

Rather than continue to morn and grieve the nearly life-ending events of March 31, 2009, my late wife Marilyn quickly dubbed it: LIFE DAY. The Day I Got a 2nd Chance at Life! I have not wasted this gift...

I then began a personal campaign to shine a light in the societal darkness of mental illness and its much-needed diagnosis and treatment. To normalize the conversation. Then recently I was deeply moved by the following statistics:

  • The leading cause of death for children ages 10 - 14 in Arizona is Suicide 
    • The 3rd leading cause of death for youth ages 10 - 24 nationwide is suicide as well
  • Over a recent ten year period there were over 1,300 reported suicides in children ages 5-14. 
    • Kindergartners are committing suicide
    • I personally know a young mother whose 7 year old child attempted suicide twice. 
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationwide 
  • Nearly 20% of all children and adults in America are diagnosed with some form of mental illness or disorder. 
    • I recently spoke with a mother whose teen-aged son lived with suicidal depression for over two years because he was ashamed to admit it. Fortunately he found help before he ended his own life. He never gave up.

I am not a mental health care professional or therapist. I am a “wounded healer” working in partnership with mental health care and K-12 education professionals to create opportunities for these young people to be heard, not hurt. To celebrate, not destroy. To learn that it is OK to tell their story, find hope and share it with the world. 

In addition to my experience as a thriving survivor of my own suicide attempts, I am a grateful recovering alcoholic (26+ years) and also experienced my fair share of bullying as a public school student. These experiences, in addition to decades of work in classrooms and performance venues, give me a unique perspective in leading The UBU Project's #NeverGiveUp SEL residencies where students are encouraged to: "Find Your Voice. Tell Your Story. Write Your Song. Share Your Hope."

"The UBU Project's suicide prevention program is much more than a suicide prevention program. It is a celebration of life!" -High School Student

"I got things to do

I ain't even half way through

Step aside, gimme room to move

Take a ride and lose your blues

Cause I ain't done yet (I ain't done yet)

I ain't done yet (I ain't done yet)

Don't you worry, and don't you fret

Cause I ain't done yet!"

From I Ain't Done Yet, music and lyrics by David Simmons  (on the UBU Records CD: HOPE)

To hear the entire song please scroll down and click the video link

David Simmons: "I Ain't Done Yet"