Content warning: this article contains mentions of suicide.

In a tribute to Carey Davis, a second-year student who died by suicide earlier this year, the university has moved to match close to $37,500 in donations to create an education initiative founded in her name. 

Since March 2019, The Carey Projects’ GoFundMe page has been accepting donations from friends, family, students, and strangers for the purpose of creating an undergraduate award in Davis’ name. The award will fund the implementation of solutions proposed for global problems and directed by a chosen team of students. 

Alongside its work with the undergraduate award in Davis’ name, The Carey Projects also hopes to expand into suicide education and prevention. 

Davis is remembered for her passion for global affairs, a devotion she cultivated in the Munk One program. Therein lies the spirit of The Carey Projects: promoting solutions for the issues that mattered most to Davis. Student teams selected for this award will be chosen based on their insight, creativity, and interdisciplinary connections, three values that Davis held dear. 

The university’s decision to contribute to this campaign came out of a collaboration between Cheryl Davis, Carey’s mother, and U of T Associate Professor Teresa Kramarz. 

Kramarz was one of Carey’s professors in the Munk One program and later went on to hire Carey as a research assistant. Kramarz had been involved in discussions about The Carey Projects from the very beginning, and when Cheryl Davis reached out to her to ask for the university’s support in their initiative, the decision was easy. 

The university ultimately decided that it would match donations made to The Carey Projects’ GoFundMe page until August 30. By that time, $37,490 of the $50,000 goal had been raised. The university’s donation will help The Carey Projects easily surpass its original goal. 

There are also ongoing discussions with Audacious Futures, where Davis did her Munk One internship, to further support The Carey Projects. Similar to the aim of the undergraduate award, Audacious Futures is focused on global innovation.

With the 10-month anniversary of her passing approaching, Carey continues to leave an impact on the university and the broader community. Her legacy lives on in the work done by her loved ones and in the conversations that she helped spark. 

Disclosure: Carey Davis was a 2017–2018 staff writer for The Varsity.

If you or someone you know is in distress, you can call:

  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service phone available 24/7 at 1-833-456-4566
  • Good 2 Talk Student Helpline at 1-866-925-5454
  • Ontario Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600
  • Gerstein Centre Crisis Line at 416-929-5200
  • U of T Health & Wellness Centre at 416-978-8030.

Warning signs of suicide include:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated, or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. If you suspect someone you know may be contemplating suicide, you should talk to them, according to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.