HoW We Survive

Welcome to How We Survive, an online resource for survivors of suicide.  


A community for survivors of suicide.

About Us

Photo: Edward Platero

Photo: Edward Platero

Nancy Hiron

Nancy Hiron graduated from the Royal Victoria Hospital
School of Nursing in Montreal in 1969. She worked in Emergency and Pediatrics until joining her husband as his nurse for 12 years In family medicine.

Nancy studied art at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1965. The director of the school was Arthur Lismer, One of the group of Seven.

My daughter Jen lost her struggle with mental illness In March of 1994. She had been diagnosed as Bipolar type 2. My second child Pete lost his struggle in 2009 following a long 15 years with Bipolar type 1.

Losing my first two children to suicide left me searching For answers.

The grieving process was filled with guilt and the ‘what if’s’ All normal in this type of passing.
I have come to discover that suicide is not personal. I now enjoy life and all it has to offer. It is my wish to offer hope to other parents going Through this grief.  You will laugh again. Promise.

Nancy has provided all of the artwork featured on this website.

Photo: Edward Platero

Photo: Edward Platero

Julie Varley

Julie Varley lives in London, Ontario and works as a Realtor.  She has a daughter, Sara, son in law Steve and is the grandmother to Autumn, Zackary and Clara.

Julie's journey with her son Chris's mental illness is a short one.  He suffered first episode psychosis one September and died from his illness the February following.

Soon after Chris died, Julie knew she wanted to do "something" to honour Chris's memory and bring attention to Mental Health.  I became aware that there wasn't open, candid conversation after losing a child or anyone to suicide.  This was the beginning of the idea of the video, Behind the Curtain - How we Survive with her friend, Nancy Hiron.


Julie and Nancy are past nominees of the Champion of Mental Health Award - 2013 & 2014.