LYNCHBURG, Va. – A Lynchburg group created eye-catching art to start a conversation about suicide and mental health.
The Suicide Prevention Awareness Coalition invited artists to draw inspiring chalk images and messages outside of the Academy Center for the Arts on Sunday. The event coincided with the start of National Suicide Prevention Week.
“People are struggling more so now than ever, and some people are struggling that have never struggled before,” said Christina Ingram of the Suicide Prevention Awareness Coalition.
The event was attended by Lynchburg vice mayor Beau Wright, who said he has also struggled with his mental health in the past.
“The stigma is real, and we need to get rid of it. We need to be open about it,” Wright said. “Depression, anxiety, other mental health disorders...it affects all of us. I don’t know any family in our community that isn’t touched by this.”
The coalition encourages others in Lynchburg to pick up chalk and write messages of their own around the city. Ingram hopes the collective effort can make a difference in the city’s mental health.
“If you see somebody who looks down and out, reach out and talk to them. It might be the difference,” Ingram said. “Everybody needs inspiration. Everybody needs to be lifted. If our community can do that, then I’m proud to be a part of it.”