Collateral Damage: Images of Those Left Behind by Suicide | Founder | Thunder Bay ON Canadá
Collateral Damage: Images of Those Left Behind by Suicide
About the Collateral Damage Project
Founded by Scott Chisholm, the Collateral Damage Project works to prevent suicide in Canada by stomping stigma, creating proactive dialogue and pushing for gatekeeper training. With open communication at its heart, the project includes a touring gallery exhibition and book (both depicting portraits of those “left behind” by a loved one’s suicide), a number of annual fundraising events and local, national and international speaking appearances by Chisholm and members of the advisory team, some of Canada’s most respected and recognized athletes, musicians and doctors. In 2012, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health honoured Chisholm with a prestigious Champions of Mental Health Award. For more information, visit www.leftbehindbysuicide.org.
"Collateral Damage: Images of Those Left Behind by Suicide", will be a book of portraits and gallery exhibition of people who have had loved ones die by suicide. When I was 17 years old (I'm now 47) my father died by suicide. Although I never hid the fact that my father took his own life, I often felt that I was left dealing with my pain and recovery in solitude, social stigma and loneliness. Throughout my professional career as a Paramedic and Firefighter, I often saw the beginning of the same pattern in the suicide calls that I attended to. I so often found myself wanting to say to grieving and demolished family members, "I know how you feel". This pattern leaves the survivors of today feeling the same way I did 28 years ago. It is my hope that this project will begin to change this.
The idea of putting a face to the loved ones of those who have died by suicide has been with me for over ten years. I am frustrated and troubled by the lack of public awareness of the terrible toll that suicide takes on us all. I passionately believe that by stepping "out of the dark" and showing that I am a survivor of suicide will help those who are faced with a similar life changing experience today. If I can make a difference, I also believe that a collection of images of survivors will not only create a path of healing but also help with the social stigmas that continue to plague the issues of suicide. I strongly believe that we must put faces to this significant public health issue that is taking far too many lives.
The idea for the book has now also evolved into a website and the potential for a international exhibition. For this project, I am the sole photographer as I believe strongly that my vision and how it is photographed and presented is a message within itself.
Please take a moment (3 minutes) to watch our introduction video and visit the Collateral Damage website; http://leftbehindbysuicide.org/2009/07/30/the-introduction-video/