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‘Wolves in Wolves’ sculpture highlights suicide prevention

5 July 2017

A wolf sculpture dedicated to suicide prevention and mental health awareness has been created in Wolverhampton with the input of P3 clients.

 

Wolverhampton will be overrun with wolves this week as the huge public art event, Wolves in Wolves, takes over the city centre. Thirty fibreglass wolf statues have been designed with the help of local organisations, including one statue on Victoria Street created in collaboration with P3’s Wolverhampton Housing and Homeless Service and other support agencies.

P3 worked alongside Wolverhampton City Council and the University of Wolverhampton within the Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum, a multi-agency forum chaired by The Samaritans, which held open workshops with groups like Base 25, Wolverhampton College, P3 and their clients to gather ideas for the design.

Senior Support Worker Sarah Mosley at P3 Wolverhampton, stated: “It’s really exciting for P3 to be involved in such a great project – one which ensures that people know what support is available, but also breaks the stigma and encourages people to talk about their feelings to do with suicide.”

 

Mark was a client of P3’s Floating Support housing services in Wolverhampton, and was discharged from hospital into P3 'Stage 2' supported housing, after a suicide attempt last year. He attended one of the Suicide Prevention meetings to put forward his suggestions for what the sculpture should look and feel like.

“My ideas were around ‘breaking the silence’. What was important for me was absolutely the fact that you shouldn’t stay silent if you’re feeling suicidal, that you should tell someone you trust and not keep it all inside, like I did.”

Local artist Alex Vann collated the ideas to design the final piece. Having had experience of depression and a friend who took his own life, the wolf, entitled ‘Support Life’ took on a personal resonance.

 

“It was nice that, though I was using other people’s ideas on this piece, it actually it felt very autobiographical – lots of things in there link to me. I felt the jigsaw design was a great way of facilitating all the different ideas onto one piece … a lot of suggestions were about trying to convey a positive message, rather than concentrating on negativity, and thinking about some of the steps towards wellbeing: learning new things, being creative, giving and keeping active.”

Along with the rest of the ‘pack’, the wolf will form part of an art trail around the city centre from 5 July - 24 September, with a plinth signposting the way to find further information and a list of support organisations for people who are experiencing mental distress or suicidal thoughts.

To find out more, go to www.wolvesinwolves.co.uk or take a look at a time-lapse video of Alex painting the sculpture, here.

Artist image by Chloe Minton.

 

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