Messages painted on T-shirts hanging in the Quad are part of the Clothesline Project at Saddleback College. (Marivel Guzman)
Over one million people commit suicide every year, making it the tenth-leading cause of death worldwide. Suicide is also a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35, which makes it all the more important that Saddleback Community College was host to a candlelight vigil this past Thursday evening in the quad.
“It’s very sad that so many people have taken their own lives, and people don’t even think about it,” said Meagen Caldwell, 20, vocal performance.
Several candles were lit and placed around trees and under the shadows created by The Clothesline Project. The event was subtle, but made its impact on the students that passed by on the chilly and cloudy evening.
“I feel very fortunate not to feel bad enough to take my own life like that,” said Adam Gordon, 19, biology.
“Every person that has resorted to [suicide]… They are embedded in my heart and mind. It’s tragic,” said Bree Servoss, 27, video production
The candlelight vigil was just one part of Awareness Week, which also featured AIDS Awareness Day, Drug Abuse Awareness Day, and The Clothesline Project. Each event was created to remind students of the tragedies that occur everyday, and how such disasters could possibly be prevented.
The candlelight vigil has come at a relevant time.
It has been only three months after the much-publicized death of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince. She hung herself after a group of fellow high school students allegedly bullied Prince until her suicide in January.
The story has gained national attention and reminded us about the importance of understanding the needs and pleas of others.
“We need to raise awareness of people who get made fun of for being different,” said Anthony Marquina, 18, history. “Then we could help stop suicide.”