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At social refugees, we partner with artists and creative folks to help our clients tell their stories. 
We partner mentor artists, in a field of interest, with our clients. Through insight from artists and supporters, we work with our clients to build a body of work for self-expression. This process is powerful for our clients. It is healing, cathartic, hopeful, and can be lifesaving.

Once the work is completed, we find venues in the community to showcase the client's work. This is a moment for the client to tell their story and to foster truthful dialog about suicide, illness and death. It is eye-opening for the viewer, as it brings truth to issues riddled with sigma and misinformation.

In addition we work with professionals and healers to provide programming for clients and the community.

Our Mission

Our mission is 2-fold:

Our mission is to give those who are at risk, affected by, or suffering from issues associated with death, suicide, sexual harassment, and illness a voice through artistic expression and healing programming.

1. We partner our clients with mentor artists who guide clients through the creative process as they produce a body of work. We partner with the community to find avenues of exposure for our clients' stories. Through this exposure, we aim to inspire more community engagement, education, and further awareness of the issues that impact these groups. 

2. We provide programming and educational opportunities for folx to engage with and work with  their feelings, emotions, thoughts and self beliefs. We do this through programming that works with mindfulness, meditation, journaling, exploration practices and alternative modalities for healing.


According to the most current data available from the Centers for Disease Control Suicide rates increased 30% between 2000–2018, and declined in 2019 and 2020. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, with 45,979 deaths in 2020. This is about 1 death every 11 minutes. The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide.

Suicide affects all ages. In 2020, suicide was among the top 9 leading causes of death for people ages 10-64. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34.

Some groups have higher suicide rates than others.  By race/ethnicity, the groups with the highest rates were non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations.  Other Americans with higher than average rates of suicide are veterans, people who live in rural areas, and workers in certain industries and occupations like mining and construction.  Young people who identify as queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual or other have higher rates of suicidal thoughts and behavior compared to their peers who identify as heterosexual.



To the paid artists we partner with who go above and beyond to give their time (and even a few inside pointers) to our clients; to the people who help us around the office, drive, bring their dogs by for some playtime, help us with our events and give us support in so many ways;  to our board members who volunteer their time to help us envision our path and make way for the future.


If you are interested in helping us please get in touch!


Are you interested in being a board member? 

We are looking for some soldiers!
Please email us a letter of interest, your CV/portfolio/website, social media links, resume, and anything else that best illustrates your desire to work with us and our mission.

Board members be asked to attend a monthly meeting via zoom.

​We look forward to hearing from you!


Could our services help you? 
Our clients include those who are at risk, affected by, or suffering from issues associated with mental illness, suicide, or death. We work with individuals, families, and friends from all walks of life and all ages. Our work with you is confidential, and our only mission is to help you find your voice and connect you with inspiring people. All types of art and media are fair game. If you are interested in doing something different like creating a community call to action we can do that too!


Juliana Bruno is the founder of Social Refugees. She has worked with Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee, Community Mental Health Coalition and is a professional photographer.
She brings with her over a decade of administrative experience and a lifetime of creativity. 
"Art is a way to speak deeper than words; to speak a language that we all understand; to tell our stories in a way that can be heard. It is powerfully intimate and can be beautifully tragic at times; but it is in those bones that we realize we have connection". 


Please contact us to get involved, be a client or artist! We'd love to have you in our village!

If you are in need and hurting text or call National Suicide Hotline @ 988

Get in Touch

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Warning Signs of Someone Considering Suicide
Any one of these signs does not necessarily mean the person is considering suicide, but several of these symptoms may signal a need for help:
Verbal suicide threats such as, “You’d be better off without me.” or “Maybe I won’t be around”
Expressions of hopelessness and helplessness
Previous suicide attempts
Daring or risk-taking behavior
Personality changes
Giving away prized possessions
Lack of interest in future plans
Remember: Eight out of ten people considering suicide give some sign of their intentions. People who talk about suicide, threaten suicide, or call suicide crisis centers are 30 times more likely than average to attempt suicide.


General Statistics

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)​

  • Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)

  • 80% -90% of adolescents that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TADS study)

  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).

  • There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)

  • There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. 


Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 


​You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor.
You can also connect 24/7 to a crisis counselor by texting  HOME to 741741.
​National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 (800) 273-8255
24-Hour Suicide Crisis Line
Toll-free: 1-877-663-5433 (ONE LIFE)
Text “START” to 741741
Serving Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties
San Francisco Suicide Prevention
24/7 Confidential Support, Text HOME to 741741
Other 24-Hour Hotlines
24/7 Crisis Line: Call (415) 781-0500
HIV Nightline: Local (415) 434-2437
HIV Nightline: 1-800-273-2437
TTY Line: (415) 227-0245
Drug Info Line: (415) 362-3400
Relapse Line: (415) 834-1144

​Dial 911

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