Every year, a handful of students at UVU attempts suicide. Suicide Prevention Week will occur on our campus Sept. 22-26 to raise awareness of and to show support for people struggling with suicide-related issues.

As a part of Suicide Prevention Week, Elsie West will be performing on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 1 p.m. in LI 502. She has opened for many artists, such as Maureen McGovern and Shawn Colvin, and has been the guest artist at many events, including Sen. Orrin Hatch’s women conference and Ronald McDonald Foundation.

West has 38 years of piano experience. She has training in classical, jazz, composition pop, vocal, oboe and guitar. She has released three albums: Simplicity in 1995, Harvest in 1998 and Passion in 2003. Katherine Zimmer, of the People with AIDS Coalition, has said that West is “someone who cares so deeply about humanity and motivates others to be the best they can be.”

West has experienced many losses. Her younger brother Scott committed suicide at age 28; her older brother Bryan died at age 39 from AIDS; and her best friend and mother passed away suddenly in February 2002.

These tragedies have driven West’s music. Music has always been a part of her life and has helped her get through heartbreaking moments.

The Salt Lake Tribune has said, “Elise’s music is the quintessential example of what music is all about.” West loves to perform at benefit concerts and is honored to sing at Suicide Prevention Week and to share her message through her music.

Suicide is more than just something you read or hear about, and it is affecting UVU. Deaths by suicide are preventable; if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK to get help.