Valley View Funeral Home is hosting a photo exhibit and panel discussion to support suicide prevention and education – with a focus on men.
The event, titled Man-Up Against Suicide, is a one-day exhibition and discussion forum that will feature a series of photographs depicting suicide by 25 artists who have either contemplated taking their own life or have lost a friend or loved one to suicide.
By giving the artists a canvas, the hope is to challenge the stigma around mental illness and to show there are always alternatives to ending one’s life.
“The exhibited pieces reach out in a range of ways, some dark and despairing, some hopeful of a brighter future, some messaging those at risk,” said Dr. John Oliffe, a nursing professor at UBC.
“The collection of photographs and narratives challenge the stigma of men’s mental illness, highlight the tragedy of men’s silence and isolation and hold up the important connections and relationships that provide alternatives to taking one’s life.”
For UBC Social Science Researcher and Men’s Health Research Project Manager Christina Han, the event is meant to trigger discussion around an often difficult subject.
“Suicide is often a very hard topic to talk about,” she said, “but having the photographs gives the participants a focal point to begin discussions and it’s also a much better way for us to share our research findings with the public.”
Man-Up Against Suicide was funded by Movember Canada Mental Health Initiatives and is being held on Sept. 10 in order to coincide with World Suicide Prevention day.
Valley View Funeral Home has marked the day for the last few years with speakers and service providers on hand to help give the general public information about resources that are available in the community.
The exhibit will be open to the public throughout the day on Sept. 10, with a panel discussion from 7-9pm involving family members and representatives from the Fraser Health Crisis Line, Fraser Mental Health and OPTIONS.
Valley View Funeral Home is located at 14660 72 Ave.
For more information on the project, go to www.manupagainstsuicide.ca