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Please help me get the word out about my Suicide Prevention Project in Second Life. In this bad economic time we need to get the word out that suicide is preventable. Please get involved.
Here is an artical that explains more.
Krissy Sinclair and the Survivors of Suicide Art Exhibit
By Se7en Wirsing
Real life artist and social worker Krissy Sinclair has created a Second Life® immersive, interactive exhibit about suicide education, prevention, recovery and life. Located in Haetae Hills, an arts and culture sim, the exhibit has been open for about 1 ½ months. When I talked to Krissy on the upper level of the exhibit, she emanated a relaxed, down to earth attitude that belies her passion for helping survivors of suicide. But, as we talked about her hopes for the exhibit, her joy of working on it and working with the survivors’ group became evident.
Upon your arrival at the exhibit, you will be greeted with: “Welcome to Survivors of Suicide Art Exhibit: Welcome to the Survivors of Suicide. Please touch all the things inside to learn more about suicide prevention.” Indeed, unlike real world exhibits, everything inside this SL exhibit should be touched to reveal information and add to the immersive experience. The images are embedded with messages that pop up when you “touch” (click on) them, like “Every day, approximately 80 Americans take their own life, and 1,500 attempt to do so.” The statistics are surprising, most likely because suicide is a topic not often talked about. There is a fact ball on the lower level that gives a notecard with resources for preventing suicide.
This message is embedded in a work featuring an angel on her knees: “This is an immersive art exhibition for those we have lost to suicide, those who have lived through their attempt to leave us, and those who have lost someone to suicide. This exhibit is to share the pain and the hope as we all go through the process of life. This is my attempt to bring us together. Please join.” By providing a venue for open discussion and learning, Krissy hopes to bring suicide out of the closet and break the stigma, allowing people to learn about suicide and support each other better.
All the art is hers, except one piece by Raven Pennyfeather. The art is actually a sculptural 3-D build with pop-up and moving features, for example a large apparently all-seeing eye that represents paranoia.
Part one, on the lower level, is meant to help those who have not attempted to understand what it feels like to feel the need to take one’s life. Be advised the exhibit on this level is graphic with depictions of the ways people kill themselves. This level depicts “death” and is filled with ominous and frightening images in darkened surroundings. The objects contain statistics about suicide in the United States and how it affects our lives. Within the exhibit, clicking on (touching) almost any item releases information about suicide with the purpose of educating. She explained that someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, as well as someone who has attempted suicide, has no support, because it is a “whispered” subject. The build is a way of opening the discussion. Currently, the statistics are related to the United States, but she hopes in the future to include worldwide information and resources in other languages.
Part two, on the upper level, is meant to share information and support from around the web. Krissy has created place to talk and bring this, one of the last issues that still hides in many closets, a place to see the light. It depicts “life.” There is a homey table and chairs set in a patio-like setting that forms an informal seating area convenient for impromptu chats. The atmosphere is bright and pleasant with sounds of birds chirping. It is park-like with benches and flowers.
If you click on the fact ball, you will receive a notecard called “Live-Resources to prevent Suicide” which comforts with words like, “It is okay to grieve. The death of a loved one can feel like sudden, unexpected and drastic amputation of a limb without any anesthesia. The pain cannot be described and no scale can measure the loss. We want so much for our loved one to return so that we can do something, and we ache knowing that it just can’t happen. You need to know that it’s okay to grieve.”
You may notice many elements of the lower floor are repeated on the upper floor, but in a positive way. The bathtub on the lower level, for example, is filled with blood, but on the upper level, it contains clean water. Upstairs, the tree is no longer ominous with the huge watching eye; instead the tree holds a board with information about depression, a major cause of suicide. When it is touched, the board issues notecards on the topics of depression information, helping someone with depression, signs of suicide, healing, suicide prevention resources, poems, recovery plan, treatment and helping a friend. These notecards are loaded with information and resources. Under the heading of “How to help a friend with depression,” it states, for example, “Clinical depression is a lot more common than most people think. It affects 19 million Americans every year. One-fourth of all women and one-eighth of all men will suffer at least one episode or occurrence of depression during their lifetimes.”
The exhibit is a project of passion that will be ongoing. You may contribute to the operation of the exhibit, if you wish.
When asked about herself as an artist, Krissy says, “I generally like to deal with the human body and emotions. I am an expressionist, style-wise. I like to express the emotions of the moment.” Her media of choice are watercolors, oils, graphite and pastels. She began to draw as a child and has her Bachelor’s degree in fine arts and graphics. She seemed to take a turn, as she got her Master’s in clinical social work. Now, she is the CEO of an advocacy and education mental health nonprofit and she advocates for the rights of the mentally ill. She also co-owns OI magazine with her partner Carmichael Caudron.
She leads a Survivors of Suicide group twice a month, whose members are people who have lost loved ones to suicide as well as people who have attempted suicide and failed. The idea for the exhibit came out of her work with the group. “I find that mix is so wonderfully healing, because they get to see each other’s sides. They help each other and get so much stronger and that’s so beautiful,” she explained.
When she logs on to SL and finds people, who maybe have met in the exhibit, chatting with each other and giving each other support spontaneously, she is particularly encouraged. Sometimes she hosts a preplanned discussion and sometimes it’s spur-of-the-moment, by posting within the groups like Remembering Our Friends and asking anyone who would like to join the discussion to come. Or sometimes others meet there without feeling a need to request permission, being comfortable to hold impromptu gatherings in the build. Krissy seems delighted with this prospect, her role being one of a facilitator allowing them a suitable space to meet their needs together.
Krissy hopes to build a remembrance wall for others to place their remembrances. She expects some of these may be anonymous due to the presence of stigma. She is looking for other artists wishing to display works related to suicide and recovery and stated they should join the Survivors of Suicide group to find out more about contributing. The exhibit can grow and change also because of her partner Carmichael’s support.
We did manage to sneak in a bit of chat on fashion and challenges of clothing in SL. She had made her own shape and mentioned she sometimes trims her hair strand by strand to fit it to her head and style. She also showed me around her sim, explaining it was open to the public. There is a wooded area with a picnic spot and other activities. There is even a gallery where she exhibits more of her art.
Because of her passion for the survivors, she is an inspiration. When asked who in SL inspires her, she replied, “All the artists inspire me; it’s a place to share.” Some that she particularly mentioned are Bryn Oh, AM Radio, Colemarie Soleil, Raven Pennyfeather and Maxwell Graff,” but expanded to say, “and many others.”
Find out more about Survivors of Suicide at http://www.survivorsofsuicide.com/index.html. Find Krissy Sinclair on the web at http://www.flickr.com/photos/13513685@N07/ and
Nice outfit Zyma 🙂
thank u so much nacy 🙂 im happy u like it!
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