The profound sorrow of our child dying compares to nothing I have ever experienced in my life. Not only did we have to endure the devastating loss of our sone Matthew, but quickly realized the magnitude of society's stigma, shame and misinformation associated with substance use.
I decided to take action, with help from my community we made a visual/memorial display about the devastation of this crisis.
Each tiny piece of yarn is an overdose death for 2017 in Canada: 3987 people. The white flag represents a person predicted to die this week in Canada and flags with names are actual names of loved ones who have died available at the time of making. We had to cut names off within an hour of asking for names on Facebook in order to keep the limit to 100 flags. With signs starting information from stats Canada including: it is officially the number one cause of death for men at aged 39 years and because of the severity of the crisis it has altered the life expectancy rate in Canada.
This display is powerful, non-political, informative, yet peaceful. Community support is needed to continue increasing awareness of this health epidemic and to break down the stigma attached to this silent killer.
It's time to take notice and break the silence.