Event raises awareness for suicide prevention

With school coming to an end, many are concentratimg on studying for finals and getting ready for summer vacation.

However, students took a break from the books Thursday night at 7 p.m. to attend the Friends of Anime (FOA) Spring Dream: A Masquerade for Suicide Prevention, an event meant to bring people together.

“This event is all about a group of people coming together for a cause in a way that is fun and enjoyable,” said Taylor McStoots, freshman from Morgantown Ky. “It’s people that might have or might have not had to deal with something suicide related in their life, but regardless all the people are donating their money and time.”

This is the first year the event has been put on.

“I was told by the people organizing the event that the Spring Dream is meant to be a dream prom,” Kelsey Bearden, freshman from Louisville Ky., said. “It’s a fantasy themed masquerade.”

The event was put together with the intent to raise awareness of suicide and honor those who have passed too soon. The purpose was to also celebrate each other and destress.

“It seems to be very rare that you have a masquerade-type event that you don’t have to be part of a special organization to attend,” McStoots said. “But I am also attending because all proceeds go to the efforts of suicide prevention, something that I think a lot of kids around their teenage years face and deal with.”

Members and nonmembers of FOA were welcome to attend the event.

“I have been a member of FOA for about a year and being that this is the first time they are hosting this event I feel like it would be appropriate for me to attend and support their event,” Bearden said.

She said she was also behind their cause being that although she did not know Jake Derting – a Murray State student who took his own life on campus earlier this semester – personally, she thinks suicide is very personal and wants to do what she can to raise prevention awareness.

The event took place in the North Gym in the Carr Health Building.

The event cost $10 for students and $15 for others.

All proceeds for the event went to the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group.

According to the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group website; “The Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group is made up of people who have been affected by suicide, either personally or professionally.”

Their mission is to “decrease suicide deaths and attempts in the Commonwealth through advocacy, education, training and evaluation.”

The event allowed students to relate to one another and connect with one another through a good outlet. It also brough students and others alike together to support a good cause.

“I did not have any special connection to Jake Derting but his passing was very impacting on my life because I heard the ordeal happen (in the Fine Arts building),” McStoots said.

He said, even though he didn’t know Derting personally, he believed it was extremely important to remember him and honor him regardless of how he died.