When The Mask Comes Off

What is the Face of Suicide

Having lost our 19yr old son recently to a horrific suicide our life has been changed beyond all recognition and we are no longer the people we once were. This web site has been set up for those like us who have been directly affected by, or are having thoughts about suicide. The site is here to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts understand just how it will affect those left behind and how the pain simply gets passed on like a ripple affect.

The aim of this site is to give a visual side to suicide one that is hard hitting yet easy to understand in a photograph. The eyes of a person tell’s us more about their reality than any words can. Survivors want to tell their story and want people to understand them but are often to scared of what others may think. This site is way for survivors to remember their loved one, talk about their feelings, give advice on what support they are getting (if any) and help others understand just how it is facing each day.

Many of us affected by suicide hide behind a mask, a smile, a “i’m Ok” attitude in order to not upset others or face the stigma associated with suicide, sometimes feeling embarrassed. This is something that needs to be kicked out if we are to truly understand and get a grip of these needless deaths.

As parents who have lost our son and met many others like us through SOBS or Child Bereavement groups we know only too well the after affects, we hope this site will help show what is really behind those brave faces and give a true insight into how suicide affects friends and family. This site is not to glorify suicide or to create a portal of stories and images it is here to help prevent.

We hope to take a different approach into support and as photographers we know just how powerful an image can be, thus we are offering our time to help others without reward. What we want to do is give survivors the opportunity to show their grief and tell their real story in a way that can be understood when all guards are down.

We don’t feel people should hide behind a mask living in fear that they might be judged. We want to show others that ending their life is not the way forward, families will not be better off without them. We want those who are suffering dark thoughts know that those left behind will carry their pain with devastating affects. The aim is to save lives and prevent suicide numbers rising in a hard hitting visual way. By telling your story and showing your real feelings in an image you will show others that they are not alone.

To arrange a totally free photograph either in our Milton Keynes studio or at a SOBS meeting then please do get in touch. We will help you achieve the best image without pressures of creating it yourself. The hard part is taking part, but by taking part your are not only helping others you are also self healing.

What is Suicide

As quoted on Wikipedia suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Risk factors include mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and substance abuse, including alcoholism and use of benzodiazepines. However the harsh reality of suicide is that it can arise for many other reason and more often does.Suicide can be attributed to a bereavement of a loved one, a relationship breakdown, abuse, bullying, school or work pressures, financial pressures, lack of a support network, physical or mental illness, pier pressures, social failings, war and in many cases impulse due to a combination of any of these.

What are the statistics:

In 2015 the global suicide total was 828,000 people an increase year on year and in the UK alone someone takes their life every 40 minutes, three quarters being men. These numbers are staggering and with more young men dying of suicide than cancer alone there is a desperate need for change and a cry out for understanding. Men and women of all ages are needlessly dying and we all need to fight against suicide.


Real People, Real Survivors, Real Stories

Anon – Austria

ME – I found me in me by loosing me completely!I was in France working too much as usual and had mobbing and bossing in the company which was too much as high sensitive. Far away from home, far away from my friends, I lived alone in an appartment – working day in day out…

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10 years ago I was diagnosed with depression, ptsd, anxiety and panic disorders. I had a lot going on in my head and felt so alone; at times I felt so low I contemplated suicide. I wanted to end things, I wanted to feel free from pain. I have struggled on and off for years…

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It’s been 303 excruciatingly painful days 7,272 hours since you completed Suicide 😭it’s been 307 days, 7,368 hrs since I found your lifeless body hanging in the shower, a day that is etched in my heart & mind forever, a haunting memory that is impossible to forget 💔it’s been 311 days, 7,464 hrs since I…

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I lost my 14 year old isaac to suicide by hanging. He came home upset one night 10 min later went to the garage and that’s where I found him. I held him screaming asking God not to take him I tried so hard to save his life. Since I watched him pass I have…

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i lost my son to suicide just over 10 years ago..no idea why or how long he had been contemplating this.however it happened and i will never get over losing him, or my daughter losing her big brother. big hole in all our lives. SaveSave

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My name is Ray I’m 36 years old I have been fighting anxiety and depression and ptsd my ex wife and myself lost our daughter to mis carriage a few years back and I lost myself I lost my family I fell into a dark spot that I can seem to get away from I…

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At 930 am Saturday Match 24th my phone received an emergency text to call my Ex Husband George who resides on Florida. I called him. I had just gott en a pedicure that morning and was on my way to mail my sons birthday card at the post office. My Ex told me that the…

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I’m 16 years old and I have struggled alot. I have tried to commit suicide but I never went through. So I am blessed to still be on earth. Times may get hard but you got to keep the faith. Life was hard for me. I didn’t live with my parents they were out doing…

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Hello, my name is Alysa I am 13 years old currently I go trough sever depression and anxiety everyday wether it’s school/home/public. What I’m like at school is the “depressed girl” most of the time I keep my hood on bc it’s just away to hid kinda like getting away from things. Today I’m going…

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My husband Barry took his life on Dec 23 2017. He had been acting strange pushed every one away and that wasn’t him he loved the outdoors and his family and friends. It got to the point were he cried to me that he was having thoughts and needed help so I made appt. But…

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I lost my natural father to suicide, I was taken into care when I was very young and then adopted so, I never did get to meet him. I starting searching for him when I was 20, I was looking forward to seeing myself in someone else… Hearing that he had passed away to suicide…

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Rob lost his Mother to suicide just months after losing his Father to Cancer: Sunday lunch with my Mum, Maggie, on 12 November 2017 felt like any other. She had overcooked the vegetables and the beef was quite tough, but I still relished the comforts of a home-cooked dinner with her, my wife, son, brother…

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I lost my son a year ago 29/3/17 my world collapsed that day. And i dont no how to deal with it . He was the Eldiest of 3 sons . And always the strong one . Iv been so low . And the thought of my others sons keeps me going they are my…

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Melanie lost her son to suicide after a 10 month fight for medical help which didn’t come: I lost my beautiful, warm, intelligent, quirky and creative son Jake 23rd August 2015 to suicide. Jake was 23 years old and he was my only child. Like any 23 year old he had masses of potential and…

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Billy was my everything. He knew me like none other. We met on December 29th 2014. We met in an unusual place, a mental health facility. I was there dealing with depression, he was there for the same. We fell for each other hard. Everyone in the place knew it. The smiles on our faces…

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I lost my boyfriend to suicide.. it was 4yrs ago March 13th. He had phoned me nearly 40times but i was unable to take his phone calls bc I was at work. I clocked out at my scheduled time, 9pm, and headed from the south side of des moines IA to Indianola IA-only about 15mins…

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Hello. I didn’t want to comment but I have lost three family members to suicide. I’m all about suicide prevention. My cousin hung her self on December 20th, 2010. She left behind a one and half year old daughter. We all help raise her now. My mother hung her self on February 17th, 2015. I…

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Hello there, my name is Donna Wolff and I lost my son Zebulun, March 1, 2009, he was 18 years old and a senior at Lutheran High Northeast. He was captain of the football team, participated in basketball, track, band, speech and the school plays. He suffered from anxiety his entire life and had four…

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Professional Photographer: John McHale

About us – Having lost our son to suicide one regret we have as professional photographers is that we didn’t take the time out to photograph our own family in the same way we have others. Trying to find photographs of our son as a young man only confirmed just how much we all need those treasured images and how important photographs can be.

It has now become our aim to use our 30yrs of experience to raise awareness as best we can through using photographs to create a true reflection of the inner feelings of those trying to cope with suicide.

Our time is offered for free, we are not seeking financial gain or recognition we are simply trying to help others understand the anguish in a format that we understand. It also helps us get through the loss of our son Johnathon by helping others in need.

Obviously this is not for everyone and many prefer to hide behind closed doors worried about the stigma that surrounds suicide. However in order to put a stop to the increasing suicides it is our duty as survivors to stand up and Face Suicide and talk about our unique experience.

As we own 2 successful portrait studio’s in Milton Keynes we are offering our personal time to those who wish to take part and create awareness. If you would like to take part and feel the time is right then please get in touch. Your story will help others who are going through similar experiences and feeling alone. It will also help those struggleing with suicidal thoughts understand the after affects of their death. Ultimately it may save a life!

Contact us to arrange your FREE photography session.