PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A large crowd turned out at the Gallery in Center City Philadelphia on Saturday to paint a panel in a mural dedicated to suicide prevention.
“Suicide needs to be talked about, because it’s a preventable thing that we could’ve kept our son from taking his own life. And I don’t want it ever to happen to anyone else.”
Gerry Slivinski’s firefighter son Jack committed suicide last year, as did another firefighter. Their colleagues were out in force to paint, and lend support. Bob Bowman was one of them:
“We people in the fire department, we take care of our own, and the more people that are here, it’s just support, and I believe that helps.”
The center of the mural shows a man in a boat on a storm-tossed sea — as someone on shore tosses a life preserver. Cathy Siciliano says the message is clear:
“The life preserver is actually the sign for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. So it personifies what people need to reach for — you need to reach out for help whether you’re a survivor or if you’re struggling with depression.”
To that end, the Suicide Prevention Foundation’s phone number — 1-800-273-TALK — will be prominently displayed.