As part of National Suicide Prevention Week, students, faculty and community members will have the opportunity to hear the popular band SafetySuit speak about suicide prevention and self-esteem building.
The band will be the keynote speakers at the “Celebrating U” event, hosted by The Second Chance Foundation of Utah. The event will start at 5 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the Shurian Family Activity Center. SafetySuit will not only be speaking, but they will also be performing some acoustic songs.
“This is an amazing opportunity to hear one of the hot new bands not only perform live, but to talk about suicide prevention and why every life matters,” said Neil Warner, President of the Second Chance Foundation of Utah. “This is a rare event. You just don’t get to hear bands of this caliber in such an intimate setting very often. This isn’t something they have ever done.”
For SafetySuit, this is an opportunity to share not only their music with the students at this university, but also hope.
“Music is about life, the people in this band are real people. We go through real problems, real ups and real downs, and our music is a product of that experience and the product of the experiences that we see around us,” says Doug Brown, lead vocalist and guitarist of SafetySuit, in a video on the band’s website.
According to the Second Chance Foundation of Utah, suicide is the leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35, and there are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year worldwide.
One student, Lex Bourgeous, describes his experience when his cousin died by suicide.
“None of us had any idea that he was feeling suicidal,” Bourgeous said. “I’ve seen our entire extended family continually blame themselves and wish for any opportunity to have that day back. We wish it for him, we wish it for ourselves and we wish it for anyone else facing this issue.”
According to Warner, the Celebrate U event is quite different than anything they have ever done before. Their hope is to help everyone realize their life is important.
“I believe most of us know someone who has suffered with depression or low self-esteem,” Warner said. “This event could be life-changing for them.”
During the event, SafetySuit will be performing one of their lesser-known songs, “Life Left to Go,” which is also the title of their album. This song discusses suicide and is very important to the band. According to Warner, they do not perform this song live.
“[The song] chronicles the thoughts of someone who wants to end their life,” according to the SafetySuit website. “Then it presents the counter of that, the person begging them to stay. It’s a song to let people know that no matter what, somebody notices them, that someone cares.”
Warner’s foundation has asked the band talk about suicide prevention and self-esteem, as well as share their experiences and what they have been through.
“I can’t emphasize enough how rare an opportunity this is. SafetySuit is phenomenal. You will see a band in a setting you will more than likely never see a band in again,” Warner said.