For many, a creative hobby or endeavor acts as buffer against the strains of everyday life. But for some, it’s a lot more than that — it’s a way to find just a little bit of peace in a world that’s been turned upside down, often in tragic ways.

With another thoughtful video in his series on mental health, British photographer David Dixon talks to a woman who has been affected by one of the most tragic circumstances that can befall anyone, especially a parent — suicide. Sylvia Slavin is a photographer based in Yorkshire, UK, and at the start of 2018, her son, John, took his own life. To say that suicide is a difficult subject to talk about is perhaps an understatement, so the fact that she is willing to share her story, and the story of her son, John, with Dixon and the YouTube community is incredibly positive. Not only is Slavin actively spreading awareness and helping others who have either been affected by suicide or are contemplating it, but she’s offering a powerful suggestion of respite in the form of creativity, because that’s what helps her. While not solutions on their own, creative and active hobbies are incredible therapeutic tools.

The first step in combating the conditions of depression, grief, or similar afflictions, is to talk to someone. It could be a friend, family member, your GP, or a helpline. The adage “a burden shared is a burden halved” is never as truer when it comes to your mental health. There is always someone there to listen — you just need to pick up the phone.   

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