To commemorate World Suicide Prevention Month in September, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) launched a Suicide Prevention Infographic Contest (SPIC) with the goal of increasing public awareness about the warning signs of suicide and how one can help a suicidal or clinically depressed person.
To aid interested artists with the infographic contest, NGF referred them to the “Suicide First Aid Guidelines for the Philippines,” which was developed by professionals to help Filipinos spot the warning signs of depression and take proper action in helping suicidal people. The nationwide contest ran for the whole month of September and was open to individuals or groups of two or more people who are at least 18 years old.
The winners were announced on NGF’s official Facebook page on October 18, 2013, a week after World Mental Health Day. Out of the 85+ entries, the judges picked one grand prize winner and three consolation prize entries.
Jane Heather Dee, a 28-year-old diver and traveler residing in Quezon City, won the grand prize of P10,000 plus an electronic gadget for her digitally illustrated entry, “Suicide Prevention 101.” “What I really like about [her] infographic is the emphasis on the phone numbers and emergency contact list, which can be cut out and kept. Brilliant!” said Erminia Colucci, one of the SPIC contest judges and author of several guidelines and books on suicide prevention.
“I knew I had to join because depression awareness is a cause I am passionate about, and suicide is a major part of that battle,” Jane said when she recalled the first time she saw the Facebook post announcing the contest. “I knew that through an infographic, more people would read and pay attention to the matter,” she added. “I wanted to present the topic in a lighter and more approachable way since suicide is usually a taboo topic here. I wanted the readers themselves to reflect/ think if they are experiencing the signs of a suicidal person. And if they are, I hope by showing the positive side, it will encourage them to seek help.”
Her visually appealing illustration shows two sides of the story—a darker area depicting signs of those suffering from depression and suicidality, and a brighter side showing how a concerned friend or loved one can help the suicidal person see the light. “I wanted to present that there is a brighter, more positive side than staying in the dark sulking on depression,” Jane explained. “I also wanted to show to people how they can help even in the simplest way.”
Jane’s winning illustration will be published in different media formats including print, digital and broadcast. Consolation prize winners of P5,000 each plus additional gift items are Bernadine Branda from Bacoor Cavite, Arvin Mangohig from Quezon City, and Harinam Tibon from Baguio City.
Every 40 seconds around the world, someone dies by suicide. Through projects such as the infographic contest, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation aims to educate Filipinos about the realities of suicide—that there is help and hope. Suicide can be prevented with proper help, non-judgmental care, and knowledge about the matter. To learn more about suicide prevention and mental ailments, visit www.ngf-hope.org or call (02) 897-2217.