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10 Photos Of Suicide Survivors

Interviewed and photographed by Whitney Saleski, who lost her dad, Stan, to suicide two years ago. She created her photo project, the Stanley Sessions, to reduce mental health stigma in his honor.

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3. Portrait of a Suicide Survivor: Shereta, Shelley, and Mary

Whitney Saleski / Via

Shereta, Shelley, and Mary: "Our friend, Alisha M. Priest, was full of life. She was creative, loved people, and they loved her. She was strong but didn’t know it."

5. Portrait of a Suicide Survivor: Kristan

Whitney Saleski / Via

Kristan: "I am happy to be a face for this critical cause that affects mothers and their children. It is not improper to discuss your issues with mental health. We cannot allow PPD to destroy any more women, marriages, families or communities. Let’s talk about it. It’s crazy not to."

6. Portrait of a Suicide Survivor: Brett

Whitney Saleski / Via

Brett: "If you’re feeling suicidal, or you’re struggling with depression, you’re not alone. Mental illness can affect anyone, no matter the upbringing, the gender, or the age. It happens to so many of us, but there are people out there who have your back, who will support you, and who know what you’re going through."

7. Portrait of a Suicide Survivor: Sue and Jennifer (Daughter)

Whitney Saleski / Via

Sue: "The stigma that surrounds mental illness remains a bone of contention with me. Why should it be, in this day and age, that biological brain disorders are still some of the last taboos in our society? Why should it be, when my family has lost so many to mental illness, that many people still keep the whole subject 'hush, hush?' If it were a just society, then mental illness would take its rightful place in the list of health concerns that we are addressing adequately."

8. Portrait of a Suicide Survivor: Becky

Whitney Saleski / Via

Becky: "He was my only son. I never wanted a boy, but the day he was born changed all of that. He was so special to me and I felt so proud to say: 'this is my son.'”

9. Portrait of a Suicide Survivor: Amanda

Whitney Saleski / Via

Amanda: "If I could turn back the hands of time, I'd certainly try to help Mom stay here. I'd keep her close to me and my own beautiful girl... but it doesn't work like that."

10. Portrait of a Suicide Survivor: Rayna

Whitney Saleski / Via

Rayna: "Depression and anxiety are ongoing struggles, but each day I grow stronger. I surround myself with positive and loving people. I embrace challenges at work, and seek out opportunities to try new things. For the first time in what feels like years, I am unapologetically myself."

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