As part of our exhibition I Want to Live we’ve been running a series of workshops for the general public that have been affected by suicide and mental health. In addition to this we also ran a session last week for clinicians and those that work with people in suicidal crisis.
Doctors and workers that provide support and compassion are often at risk of developing mental health problems, and even prone to suicide themselves. There are some alarming statistics highlighting the declining mental health in doctors.
Professor Gerada warned that doctors, especially female doctors, are at a higher risk of suicide than the rest of the population, and she linked this in part to the pressure related to receiving patient complaints.— Pulse
Throughout the workshop the participants were provided with a safe space to express the complex difficulties of caring for and being responsible for those that have been in crisis. Hopefully everyone that works in the caring field does it because they have compassion for others. But just like the rest of the world these workers face their own difficulties and the heaviness of workloads and exposure to harrowing experiences on a daily basis.
In this workshop we started by constructing word clouds using words that came into our minds when we thought about our jobs and roles. These were words that came out impulsively without too much overthinking. Afterwards we created work based on our strongest word, thought or feeling. The result was a powerful series of discussions and artworks around responsibility, guilt, anger, frustration, privilege, and many more emotions.