A suicide prevention charity has launched a poignant outdoor gallery on London’s South Bank , featuring the smiling photos taken in the last days of the lives of 50 people who died by suicide.
The Last Photo exhibition, organised by charity the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), displays the six-foot high images, aiming to demonstrate how suicide does not always come with warning signs.
The exhibition, unveiled by Shirley Ballas, Jamie Laing and Amber Gill, aims to challenge the stigma and stereotypes surrounding suicide.
It shares the stories of shock, sadness and heartbreak that friends and families experienced as part of a new national campaign, which aims to challenge the stigma and stereotypes surrounding suicide.
CALM wants to help get the nation talking about suicide and also equip people with practical tools to take action and help save a life.
The outdoor exhibition, which showcases 50 smiling faces, shows us that it can be sometimes impossible to notice that someone may be suicidal.
Data from CALM revealed that 61% of people would struggle to tell if someone they knew felt suicidal - and that 125 people die by suicide every week in the UK.
CEO of CALM Simon Gunning said: “People tend to think they already know what suicidal looks like - reclusiveness, crying, silence etc. - and if they don’t see these traits in someone they’re worried about, they hesitate to intervene.
“In reality, suicidal behaviour takes many forms.
“If we can all start one conversation with our friends and family about suicide, together we can smash the stigma that surrounds it.
“It might feel awkward to start with, but by starting a conversation today you really could help save a life.”
Shirley Ballas, who is an ambassador for CALM, commented: “I can still feel the shock of the news running through my body, a cold and chilling feeling of disbelief when my brother died by suicide on December 5 all those years ago.
“A life lost that in my opinion could have been saved if we’d been more educated and understood more about communicating feelings.”
TV’s Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing added: “There’s no one way a person feeling suicidal will act - and we can all be masters of disguise.
“Because only by talking about it can we save lives.
“Together we can remove the stigma that surrounds suicide and make it an everyday conversation.”
And Amber Gill, reality TV personality and influencer, said: “It’s not always easy to know when someone is feeling low but we need to trust our instincts and ask the question ‘how are you really doing?’.”
The exhibition will be open to the public from Wednesday, June 22, to Sunday, June 26.
It is located at Riverside Central, London Southbank, Lambeth Council, SE1 9PP.
For more information on the campaign or for practical advice on how to take action and help spot the signs, head to thecalmzone.net/thelastphoto