Most can understand the need to escape every now and then. Yet for someone having thoughts of suicide, that need for escape can make their life hang in the balance.
On Sept. 18, a special event, “Celebrate U,” was sponsored by the Second Chance Foundation of Utah, in conjunction with Student Health Services and the Suicide Prevention team on campus.
Along with guest speakers, including Miss Utah County 2010, Lauren Burton, there was a question and answer session with the popular band SafetySuit.
It is a rare occasion to see a well-known band in such an intimate setting, where students were literally feet away from the four band members, with the opportunity to question them about their personal experiences.
SafetySuit was approached by the Second Chance Foundation of Utah because their song, “Life Left To Go,” fell right in line with this particular event. It seemed to be a natural fit, according to Doug Brown, the lead singer of the band.
“That song spoke to everything that the Second Chance Foundation and this ‘Celebrate U’ event is speaking to,” Brown said, “which is the thoughts that go through someone’s mind before they take their own life. Obviously anyone that has experienced that personally, or has someone close to them going through that, needs to know the gravity of those thoughts.”
Brown shared with the audience the experience that he and the band members had with a close friend who came close to taking his own life, which was ultimately the inspiration for the song.
While life isn’t always wonderful, Brown encouraged audience members that life isn’t so bad that one should take ones own life. He suggested that through reaching outside of oneself and helping others, people can find more meaning in their lives. This can also promote some perspective and bring about more happiness, as was the case with their close friend.
The band also encouraged those who do have stronger footing to reach out to those around them who might be hurting and be open to them and willing to talk.
“So many times we try to brush things off as them having a rough day or thinking it’s probably just nothing, and we don’t give each other the opportunity to actually say what it is that’s going on in our lives and sometimes … [they] are dying for the opportunity to just say, ‘Yeah, I’m hurting, I’m broken, I need something, I need somebody to help turn this around’,” Brown said.
According to Tate Cunningham, SafetySuit’s drummer, participating in this event was a no-brainer, as it was an opportunity to help people.
“There is no reason to stand by when you know someone is going through something like this,” Cunningham said.
The desire that caused SafetySuit to participate in this event was to bring hope. According to Cunningham, they were grateful for the opportunity to use their art to help bring hope to those around them.
“We hope they can find some hope, and music is a sort of universal language that can give hope,” Cunningham said.