The topics of suicide and suicide prevention need to be discussed openly in homes, in schools, and in churches. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death for 10- to 24-year-olds. The organization also reports that one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. That means approximately 2,160 people per day or 788,400 people per year die by suicide.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (ASFP) reports that suicide rates are the highest among whites and Native Americans and that for every completed suicide, there are 25 suicide attempts. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the second leading cause of death for 10- to 24-year-olds in the United States is suicide. And, according to the Utah Public Health Data Resource, suicide is the first leading cause of death of 10- to 24-year-olds in Utah.
Just in the past year, the community of Herriman, Utah, has grieved the loss of seven teenagers who died by suicide. With that knowledge, Alex Boyé decided to create a music video that would address the important issue, and he felt that filming the video in Herriman was a perfect idea. He said, “I was so moved and touched about the suicides and I said I got to shoot it in Herriman. I have to shoot it here.” He reached out to the Herriman community via Facebook to see if anyone would be interested in being a part of the project and the response was overwhelming.
Hundreds of people gathered in Herriman to be a part of something, that for many, their lives have been personally affected by this issue. People of all ages, a children’s choir, high school band, and even an orchestra were part of the making of the video for the song with uplifting lyrics.
The song, which is called “Bend Not Break,” aims to deliver an urgent message of hope to anyone who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts. KUTV.com reports, “The song he [Alex Boyé] wrote is about a teenage girl contemplating suicide. Pressures from social media lead her into a deep depression. Throughout the song, the girl realizes just how many people love her and she decides in the end not to go through with the suicide.” The Herriman students are part of the final scene in the video, depicting just how many people love the girl. Alex said is not necessarily about what happened at Herriman High School, but he felt that it was important to include the students to help them deal with their tragedies.
Alex further commented, “Music to me is therapy, so I thought how awesome it would be if I could bring this song to the community. This is about them. It’s about their healing and about how they have processed what’s been going on.”
Members of the community are hoping that by coming together to support a common cause, they will be able to help save lives. One member of the community, Judi VanEperen, had a son that took his own life in 2017. She commented, “If he was still here, he would have been here today, and he’d be supporting this. She added, “We can’t save everybody, but we can save somebody. We just want to keep reaching out. We just want to save more people.” Micah Davidson, a senior at Bingham High School, said, “Our main goal is to get rid of suicide, get rid of loneliness. I think it’s really cool that we could get so many people together that share a value of togetherness.”