A newspaper article & infographic shedding light on an important health issue.
☞ information design, illustration, design research
☞ student project
This project deals with the topic of suicide — discretion is advised.
Across all genders, suicide is one of the leading causes of injury death among Albertans. This issue disproportionately affects men, among other demographics, due to general determinants of health but also unique social and geographic factors, such as pressure to adhere to strict gender roles and economic hardship exacerbated by Alberta’s oil and gas industry. These issues are compounded by the silence and stigma surrounding male suicide.
Scientific research, public policy, and existing awareness campaigns informed this work, where I sought to craft a message about suicide prevention and promote empathy and conversation. As the subject matter is sensitive, I was careful to remain cognizant of the tone and visual language of the work produced and to do my best to bring a human dimension to matter-of-fact statistical data. My goal was to underscore the dignity and hope found in this issue and those affected by it.
The article examines the state, causes, and responses to male suicide in Alberta, looking at data from 2006 to 2017. The accompanying infographic is done in a hand-drawn illustrative style, inspired by Brian Rea, an illustrator for The New York Times known for his naïve style of drawing. Statistics are shown using red tally marks on a wall along with the figure of the Grim Reaper and a man in red. As death's personification watches over him, the man wipes away the marks with one hand while he clenches his other hand into a fist. My aim with this image was to tell a story through colour, scale, and a narrative scene.
If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, these resources can provide help:
Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 833-456-4566
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
Hope for Wellness Hotline: 1-855-242-3310