When Jon Phillips was 18 several years aged he felt hopeless. He was likely via a dim time and his everyday living felt like it had minimal this means.
Phillips remembers pulling by way of individuals darkish times with the assist of a pastor who took the time to arrive at out and kind a marriage that ultimately saved him.
Now, 20 decades later on, Phillips is a pastor at the Rifle Church of Christ and hopes he can supply youth the same aid he himself so desperately desired.
“As a pastor, a instant that hit dwelling was when I did a funeral for a youthful person below in Rifle a number of several years back who passed away from suicide,” Phillips reported. “Seeing the heartbreak of the relatives and all the persons that ended up remaining powering just questioning if one thing else could have been completed.”
As a father of 3 small children ranging in ages from 8- to 12-years-old, Philips has talked to every of them about suicide, self-hurt and why folks may possibly want to finish their existence. He fears that younger men and women are going through an uphill battle to uncover this means since human associations are frequently lost to the digital environment.
“I believe we will see an enhance in the will need for human relationships compared to technological associations,” he mentioned. “I consider there is a big distinction and at times I assume it’s challenging for younger folks to know the difference or to even know why human interactions are improved.”
Serving to by means of the lens
Phillips had his very first camera and darkroom knowledge when he was in seventh quality. He did not notice it at the time but it was an experience that would make a long lasting perception on him.
His enthusiasm for pictures was rekindled right after going to Rifle from Arkansas in 2013. He grew up in Laramie, Wyoming and remembers browsing Glenwood Springs and common fishing holes normally with his household. Immediately after returning to the Western Slope — a spot that feels most like residence to him — he typically usually takes full benefit of what the Southern Rocky Mountains have to provide and finds himself investing five or six several hours outdoor making operate.
Phillips needed to discover a way to elevate cash for suicide prevention in at-threat youth and recently collaborated with regional coffee retailers to do so. He will be displaying and marketing prints with the intention of donating all proceeds to the 2nd Wind Fund — a nonprofit organization in Denver that will work to hook up youth at danger for suicide with mental health and fitness treatment method. According to its web-site, just below 400 youth have been furnished with access to life-conserving mental overall health treatment in the condition of Colorado in 2019-20 with the assistance of Second Wind Fund.
The 30×40 canvas print that Phillips will be advertising at Whistle Pig Coffee Cease in Rifle has indicating behind it. It is a photograph taken when he was in the enterprise of great pals.
“Even nevertheless a couple of several years have handed since our time together in Crested Butte, we nonetheless have that memory, we continue to have that relationship,” he claimed. “We know that we can continue to count on each other when we have to have to and that’s an important piece.”
Phillips will be providing prints at the two Whistle Pig in Rifle and Drifters in New Castle as a commencing point for his fundraiser.
Jasmine Atchinson and her partner Kevin took more than possession of the Whistle Pig in early January and didn’t think 2 times about supporting Phillips’ lead to by hanging the prints in their store.
“(Phillips) informed me about the proceeds likely in direction of suicide avoidance, particularly for the more youthful children, and it is a thing that my partner and I want to add to and assistance in any way that we can,” she said. “That’s the modest aspect that I can do is just cling his artwork and it was not even a dilemma.”
Atchinson grew up in the valley and acknowledges the acute want for mental health and fitness awareness and suicide avoidance.
“I assume which is just what the neighborhood demands ideal now, specially with all the fatalities that have been going on,” she mentioned.
Phillips hopes to be able to increase his profits to other destinations throughout the valley if the thought gains enough traction to do so.
“This is form of like a beta check,” he explained. “I’d like to just print, print, print… with the hope of acquiring (prints) up where ever I can for the identical result in.”
Phillips’ extensive-phrase objective is to set alongside one another an once-a-year party for the duration of Nationwide Suicide Prevention 7 days in September. The celebration would be in the type of a silent auction that includes reside tunes and different items of artwork by locals in the valley.
“I’d like to keep on to raise mental well being awareness in Rifle, not just for youth but all people, and open up up individuals conversations about caring for each other in particular person and setting up all those in own relationships once more,” Phillips stated.
Phillips is at the moment working to develop a website for on the internet print income to keep on supporting 2nd Wind Fund.
“If this fundraising work could have an effect on just just one everyday living then it would be truly worth it,” he stated. “I actually assume that any youthful particular person who wants another person to chat to should really have that accessible to them.”
Visual Journalist Chelsea Self can be arrived at at 970-384-9108 or [email protected]