A wolf sculpture dedicated to suicide prevention and mental health awareness has been created in Wolverhampton with support from the city’s University.
The city has become overrun with wolves following the launch of the huge public art event, Wolves in Wolves.
Thirty fibreglass wolf statues have been designed with the help of local organisations, including one statue created in collaboration with the social inclusion charity P3’s Wolverhampton Housing and Homeless Service, the University of Wolverhampton 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.
Clare Dickens, Mental Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The art work and design represents an ethos of hope, connectedness, what constitutes wellbeing and good mental health and attempts to break the silence of talking about such a taboo subject.
“It’s a privilege being a part of the group who meet to discuss strategy, application and need within our city with the aim of zero suicide. Everyone and every organisation in our city has a role to play and this is something the University of Wolverhampton has taken seriously with our ‘3 minutes to save a life’ initiative, which aims to equip all staff with a common language, understanding, confidence and compassion to respond to distress and or disclosures of suicidal thoughts.”
Artist and University of Wolverhampton Design for Communication graduate, Alex Vann, collated the ideas to design the wolf itself. Along with the rest of the ‘pack’, the wolf will form part of a summer art trail around the city centre, 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.
Sarah Mosley, Senior Support Worker at P3 Wolverhampton, said: “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.”
Parpinder Singh from Wolverhampton City Council coordinates the Suicide Prevention Forum and added: “We were offered one wolf within the project to raise awareness about suicide prevention. It was really important that we reflected the terminology of people who’ve experienced this issue, holding open workshops with local youth groups like Base 25 and organisations like P3 to gather ideas for the final design.”
The Wolves in Wolves art trail is open to the public from 5th July – 24th September. To find out more, go to www.wolvesinwolves.co.uk.
Images by Chloe Minton.
For more information, please contact Laura Gavin, Communications Coordinator on 07896908353 or email Laura.Gavin@p3charity.org.
Notes to Editors
We are a charity and social enterprise made up of passionate people who care about people. We run a variety of services all over the UK that aim to give everyone the chance to be part of the community they live in and feel connected to society. We think that everyone is unique and with support and confidence, can unlock their potential within, opening up a world of possibilities.
For more information visit www.p3charity.org