HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Students gathered at the University of Southern Mississippi to honor those who have lost their lives as a result of suicide and anyone battling depression. Lights decorated the Shoemaker Square Fountain on the campus where the Light Up the Fountain for Suicide Prevention was hosted Thursday.
Shelley Griffith, a senior at USM, helped organize the event. As someone who has battled with depression, Griffith felt that it was critically important to provide a space where others could share their stories and offer support.
"I've dealt with suicidality ever since I was about the age of nine," she said. "I've battled with depression and I also have a lot of friends who battle with this as well. Actually, this past year, I lost two people. And it really hit home for me..."
She says the idea for lights for suicide prevention came from knowing the darkness associated with it.
"So, being in that dark place what better than to have that gleam of light and most of the time people say they can't find it," Griffith said. "So, tonight, I hope they find it."
Attendees painted candles various colors to personalize their own struggle while some painted black candles to remember those who have passed away. Those in attendance also pledged to support students battling suicide and depression.