Saturday, May 5, 2018

Iraq Veteran shows suicide issue "too big to ignore"

Tulsa veteran creates mural to discuss suicide, an issue 'too big to ignore'
Tulsa World
By Reece Ristau
13 hrs ago
“I want people to know that these real heavy emotions are (OK),” Butts said Friday morning. “You can talk to people about it. You don’t have to be scared of it. When you take off your mask and I take off my mask, it’s, ‘Oh, you’ve got stuff, too.’ We all have stuff.”
As a chaplain’s assistant during the Iraq War, Josh Butts tended to the emotional health of his battalion members, some of whom have since died by suicide.

As a graphic designer in Tulsa, Butts is now using art to bring awareness to the scope of that public health issue.
On Friday, Butts used chalk to create an elaborate mural of an airliner. The mural, called “Too Big to Ignore,” comprises phrases used by those affected by suicide and images representing the pain of such loss. Drawn on the side of the Hardesty Arts Center (AHHA) in the Tulsa Arts District, the airplane represents the 123 people who die in the United States each day by suicide.
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