Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and one Vancouver organization is hoping to make a difference.
The Live In Colour campaign was created by Vancouver’s Classics Agency as a way of using the mediums of art, cinema, fashion and music to help remove the stigma surrounding suicide and suicidal thoughts. Promoting artists of all kinds, Classics wanted to help give back to a community they’re so close to, while trying to make as broad an impact as possible.
“We deal with so many folks in the arts, that we kind of see that there are negative affects that come with pursuing your dreams,” Lexani Llaguno, Director of Creative Managment and Publicity at Classics Agency, and one of the guiding hands behind the Live In Colour campaign told Vancity Buzz. “With going after those things that you want, there’s a lot of social stigma surrounding that, a lot of people come down on them and say ‘oh it’s too hard to do, that’s not a real job.’ There’s a lot of roadblocks in the way, and it takes a toll on people’s psyches at times.”
The campaign consists of a colour poster series, with the main focus being on a video featuring psychologist and suicide prevention expert Dr. Kathleen Stephany.
“We need to raise the awareness, because suicide kills,” Stephany told Vancity Buzz. “We have all kinds of campaigns to support funding for research to, for example, cure cancer. What people don’t understand is that suicide is one of the biggest killers. Every 40 seconds someone commits suicide. In fact, suicide outnumbers homicides and all deaths by war by a multitude.”
Working in the field of suicide prevention for over 15 years, Stephany says the biggest hurdle surrounding suicide is the stigma placed on it by society.
“There’s so much stigma attached to suicide, so much shame, and guilt, and a lack of understanding,” she says. “One way for us to be a part of the cure, a part of changing things and helping to prevent suicide, is for us to get the talk going so that we are no longer embarrassed to talk about it.”
Stephany says this stigma causes many feeling suicidal to hide their thoughts, and that normalizing these kinds of feelings could save more lives than we could imagine.
“We [need to be able to] say that it’s alright to feel this way, and it’s alright to have these thoughts,” she says. “It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it doesn’t meant that you’re crazy. Talking about it will help us understand the ways we can help.”
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, or anyone you know is, there is always someone available to talk to.
Suicide Prevention Crisis Lines:
- B.C. Suicide Helpline: 1-800-784-2433
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 604-872-3311 / Toll free: 1-866-661-3311
- Vancouver Island: 250-754-4447 / Toll free: 1-888-494-3888
- Northern B.C.: 250-563-1214 / Toll free: 1-888-562-1214
- Interior B.C.: 1-888-353-2273
- Chimo (Richmond): 604-279-7070
- Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required)
- Aboriginal Crisis Line (KUU-US): 250-723-4050 / Toll free: 1-800-588-8717
- S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Chinese Help Lines (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
- Cantonese: 604-270-8233
- Mandarin: 604-270-8222
- Senior’s Distress Line: 604-872-1234 (Lower Mainland)
- Kids Help Line: 1-800-668-6868
More information on the Live In Colour campaign can be found online.