Performers raise awareness for suicide prevention in “Ending the Silence” event

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The St. Thomas Gospel Choir and Active Minds put on a night of music, dance and poetry Friday in front of a packed BEC auditorium for the “Ending the Silence” event.

But this wasn’t a run-of-the-mill talent show. The performances were designed to raise awareness about suicide in the aftermath of teen suicides across the nation.

“I feel like the darkness and deepness of the event represented what some people are going through every day of their lives,” said senior Anna Bailey.

For sophomore Nick Yannarelly, the event served as an eye-opening experience.

“You hear about this stuff on the news, but you don’t always think about it,” he said. “The show made me think about how I should be treating everyone, and to look for the warning signs of suicide.”

Junior Kiana Williams was an “Ending the Silence” organizer. She said the show was a great step toward a stronger community.

“We can be open, we can talk to each other and let each other know what is going on in our lives and not feel like we’re alone in our struggles,” she said.

Sophomore Danny Lindsey said he was pleasantly surprised at the high turnout.

“When events happen on a Friday night, you never know how many people are going to come out,” he said. “It was really good to see this many people show up to support suicide awareness.”

Speakers from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention highlighted the resources that are available to students in need.

“They had a great message that people should seek help if they need it,” said senior Marcy Warren. “It should never be a bad thing to ask for help.”

Williams said the hard work paid off.

“It was breathtaking. It’s been nice seeing the reactions people have, and some have even thanked us that the show was put on,” she said. “I give all the glory to God, because it’s not by us at all, and I’m just so thankful.”

Zach Pagano can be reached at