Fountain Mall lights up to raise awareness for suicide prevention

Active Minds, a mental health awareness organization raises awareness for suicide prevention on campus. Mireya Sol Ruiz | Multimedia journalist

By Carson Lewis | Page One Editor

Active Minds, a mental health awareness organization, set out 100 LED lights on Fountain Mall Monday evening, each representing 10 of the approximately 1,000 college students who take their own lives yearly.

Active Minds, a national organization, has a chapter on Baylor’s campus tailored to the specific needs of the campus community.

The Baylor community experienced the pain of suicide last March when a senior electrical and computer engineering major took his own life. The student was previously involved in advocacy for suicide awareness before his death, after his sister committed suicide in 2017.

Houston junior Iliana Trevino, president of Active Minds, said that the lights have important significance.

“We chose lights to show life. Light represents life, so we want to show the life of the college students that aren’t with us today,” Trevino said.

Joplin, Mo., junior Jonathan Barnes, vice president of Active Minds, said that the LED lights that Active Minds turned on Monday night were important to visualizing the problem.

“I hope that people will see it and realize that suicide is something that is a big issue, and that it’s an issue that hits close to home. … it’s important to be aware that [suicide] is something that your roommate or your next door neighbor may be struggling with,” Barnes said.

Active Minds hosts events every other week at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays at the BSB B105. That event will include discussions on suicide awareness and depression in students. They discuss topics concerning mental health and host self-care events like stress relief painting sessions.

In the past, the group has partnered with other on-campus organizations for events like Mental Health and Minorities looking at the issue of mental health from different perspectives.

“I promise we have an exciting year ahead,” Barnes said. “Something that might make a repeat appearance from last year is an event called ‘Paint Out Stigma’ in which we let people throw paint at a board covered with common examples of stigma.”