Author and composer David Simmons will be conducting a three day music workshop at Willard Alternative High School during Suicide Prevention Awareness Week.

Simmons, the founder and creative director of the U-B U Project, is holding a three day suicide prevention songwriting workshop.

“This all had its birth on March 31st, 2009, when I actually made a rather violent suicide attempt, and my life was saved,” said Simmons. “I knew it was saved for a reason, but I didn’t know why until about six months ago when I was living in the Phoenix area listening to the radio and I heard a statistic that the leading cause of death in children ages 10 to 14 in Arizona was suicide. I did some more research and it’s the same statistic nationwide for kids ages 10 to 19, and I knew then that’s why my wife was saved.”

That’s when Simmons began the U-B-U Project and began going to schools to teach kids about suicide prevention and substance abuse.

“As a recovering alcoholic, I was using all my brokenness and scars to give kids a voice to express themselves in a creative fashion to help pay it forward,” he said. So, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Willard School, we’ll write music together. Then, I have a gig with my band at The Public House this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. sponsored by the United Way. And whatever we create in the next three days the kids will sing with me as a part of the gig.”

The event is part of the Suicide Prevention Week presented by the Missoula County United Way.