UT to Host “Neon Nights,” An Event to Help Suicide Prevention

By Ella Malmgren

From academic pressure, to fear of the future, college students can bear many obstacles that affect their mental health.

According to a new NASPA survey, students, faculty and staff showed a sharp decline in mental health on campus. And three out of every four college students experience moderate to severe psychological distress, with more than half reporting feelings of loneliness and 13% having serious suicidal thoughts. 

We’re an at-risk demographic for mental health plateaus, especially in Florida where the suicide rate is growing faster than the rest of the country. 

Suicide and depression are widely-discussed topics on campus. But when it comes to solutions, it’s easy to draw a blank. 

The University of Tampa is hoping to open the discussion. 

On April 13, UT will host “Neon Nights,” an event that encourages students to “glow for mental health.” The fundraiser will support The JED Foundation (JED), a non-profit that works to prevent suicide for teens and young adults. 

The event, held in Plant Park,  will open with a UT student sharing their personal journey with mental health, to let students know that they’re not alone, and their feelings are valid. 

Following the speech, a colorful parade will light up campus with volunteers and sponsors stationed at “Glow Zones” along the route to distribute free neon-colored items. 

And the evening will end with a dance party, equipt with a DJ!

The goal of this event is to bring students together, and help them shine through. 

Funds raised will help JED continue to equip more young people to help themselves, support one another, and overcome mental health challenges.

Neon Nights will commence in Plant Park and end in Cass Gym. It will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., this upcoming Thursday.

Register for the event here.

For more information on the event, visit the Neon Nights website.

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