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Scott Chisholm lost his father to suicide at the age of 17. Now, at the age of 45, he feels a strong need to make a difference in the lives of others. He wants to help prevent suicide and to help those that have also had their lives impacted by suicide to come together in his project, Collateral Damage, Images of Those Left Behind By Suicide. A paramedic and firefighter by trade and also a photographer, Scott is developing a book of portraits, a website and gallery exhibition of people who have lost a loved one to suicide. Scott shares that “although I never hid the fact that my father took his life, I often felt that I was left dealing with my pain and recovery in solitude, social stigma and loneliness.” Scott wants those who are contemplating suicide to know that their family and friends are NOT better off without them, “they may feel that they’re a burden, but the burden they leave behind, is far far greater and their importance to those around them is far greater than they can ever imagine”. Scott hopes to illustrate this by sharing stories from those that have been left behind by loved ones to suicide and hopes to get the message across that there are other solutions to unbearable pain. Talking about suicide and having a dialogue is important. Scott ends on a few memorable words with us, “not talking about it isn’t working”. Watch the whole interview to learn more about Scott’s story and the work he’s doing as a mental health advocate.
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