Bay State Savings Bank is proud to have been the presenting sponsor of local musician Ricky Duran’s performance at the Hanover Theatre on May 6, 2023. Ricky garnered international attention with his soulful vocals, fiery guitar playing and compelling performances on NBC’s The Voice. The Season 17 Runner-Up has since released a full album entitled “Space & Time”, which charted at No. 1 on iTunes.
Our Bank is proud to support local artists, such as Ricky, who was born and raised in Worcester, and continues to shine a national light on our great city. In addition to Ricky’s musical talent, he is also a mental health and suicide awareness advocate, which has connected us with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Working with Ricky and the AFSP, we hope to emphasize the importance of good mental health and promote the important work and resources AFSP provides.
Learn more about Ricky’s Connection, the AFSP, and our fundraiser to support the Central MA Out of the Darkness Walk, by accessing the drop downs below.
In 2012, I lost my father to suicide. It rocked me to my core as the thought of losing someone, especially my father, to suicide seemed absolutely unrealistic. He never showed me any signs he was struggling throughout life. In the years leading up to his death, he had been diagnosed with cancer and came into some trouble with finances. I had no idea the impact those two huge life events had on his mental health because he never talked about it. He struggled in silence until it was unbearable. After his death, I wrote a song called “Waiting on you” and partnered with the AFSP to create the music video and release it about 6 years after writing it. It was about losing my father to suicide and it was written from his perspective. Expressing my pain through art is my therapy. I wasn’t ready to put that out to the world though. It actually took me years to be honest with anyone about how my father passed because of the stigma it held. I didn’t want anyone to judge him as he was a warrior in my eyes. Years after my father passed, my best friend died by suicide. That was when I realized that I needed to start talking about this. Everyone suffers, including myself, and we need to be more open about how we feel in hopes that the next generation is even better at it and we can minimize the deaths by suicide. I found the AFSP and decided to start an annual benefit concert to support them. I also participated in the walks every year. I couldn’t believe how many people were involved and had experienced the same thing I had. After partnering with the AFSP, I realized just how ridiculous it was for me to ever hide the fact that I lost anyone to suicide. If my song or openness to talk about my experience helps just one person, then I know both my best friend and fathers death will have some meaning. The AFSP community has been a wonderful resource for myself, my family, and friends and I will always support them 100%. Mental Health is healthcare and getting help when you are struggling shows immense strength.
Born and raised in Worcester, MA, Ricky Duran has developed a host of favorite restaurants. Dine out at some of his favorites during the month of May, and while you’re there, be sure to scan the QR code to make a donation to his Out of the Darkness Community Walk.