We Are Who You Leave Behind is a project based out of Northwest Ohio that features the voices of those left behind when a loved one takes their own life. We collect Messages of Hope, and create artwork to raise awareness and prevent suicide. Our goal is to use graphic design as intervention for suicidal ideation and to use the tenets of art therapy to create a connected group of individuals, families, and professionals in the wake of this unifying yet senseless tragedy.
In 2017, our founder, Annie, lost her brother to depression just two days after Thanksgiving. Battling mood disorders her entire life, Annie found it exceptionally difficult to cope with and it led to her own suicidal ideation and eventual hospitalization for suicidal thoughts. During her time at the hospital, she met a woman, Susie, who was also battling suicidal ideation. Annie's story and despair of losing someone was poignant and it, in turn, helped Susie to cope with her own suicidal ideation by seeing it from the side of someone left behind.
Annie wanted to share her story and thus was born We Are Who You Leave Behind -- sharing stories of the families and friends left behind by someone who lost their battle with depression. She wants to uplift those still in the trenches by reminding them they are not alone, this is not a solution, and that they can get help. With the help of these messages and graphic designers from around the globe, we are creating Hopefuls* and sharing stories to ease the pain, spread awareness, and create a connected community.