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“Sunshine” on Suicide Awareness

New music video invites discussion.

Lauren Cooper, Editor

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“The sun don’t rise without sunshine,” as Dylan Schopp once put it, and now Florida singer/rapper Jake Miller raps about it in his song “Sunshine.” Jake Miller wrote the song “Sunshine” about his childhood friend Dylan Schopp who recently took his own life. To his friends and family, Dylan had been known as a cheerful young man, eventually earning the nickname “Sunshine” from his high school wrestling coach. On February 12, 2015, at just 21 years old, however, Dylan Schopp committed suicide.. When Jake Miller got the devastating call from Dylan’s family, he was in the studio; it was there where he wrote and recorded the song in memory of his friend. At first, he was unsure of what to do with the song but after speaking with Schopp’s family, they collectively decided it should be released to help spread a positive message. Although it was originally used as a sort of grief mechanism for Miller, his friends and family, it was eventually used as a celebration of Dylan’s life and to raise awareness. The video for “Sunshine” was also shot in their hometown of Weston, Florida and included pictures and videos of Dylan and clips of his friends and family gathered to release lanterns in his memory.

The video was released on September 10th, coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day. Once released, Miller tweeted, “Wow. Dylan’s dad just informed me that their email is blowing up from all the people all over the country. So amazing.” Suicide is an important topic in today’s society and many are applauding Jake for speaking out on it. This is a topic that should be addressed because many young adults are very unaware of the risk factors. At PPMH, for instance, Junior Drake Bringas, explained he was unsure of the annual suicide statistics, guessing “maybe over 4,000 but definitely not 5,000.” He was very surprised to hear that in 2013, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States with 41,149 people. His reaction echoes that of many Crocs: “Wow, that’s surprising and incredibly sad to hear.” This is why, as Junior Michelle Reyes points out, “educating our youth on this ongoing issue can help raise awareness and prevention and let those in need know that there are people there for them.”

In honor and memory of Dylan, his parents created The Dylan Schopp Sunshine Foundation as a non-profit organization that focuses on bringing sunshine into the lives of children and young adults. Using this foundation, they strive to spread positivity and happiness through public awareness and community outreach of suicide prevention. Their main goal is to educate and increase public discussion about the issue of suicide. The more it is spoken about, the better it can be prevented; people need to know they are not alone in any situation they are facing. “I want you to take away from this video and from the song that things will always get better, you never have to end your life,” as Jake Miller put it. “There are so many people that care about you and will be affected by that decision. I think if Dylan knew how many people would be affected by what he did, I’m not sure if he still would’ve done it. I hope he wouldn’t have done it.”

To learn more about Dylan and his family, or suicide prevention, visit

dylansfoundation.org, loveislouder.com, or jedfoundation.org.

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“Sunshine” on Suicide Awareness