BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — With a goal to combine fashion and awareness for suicide, Rosalynn Thyssen, a Southern University nurse professor and founder of a Have a Heart Foundation, is putting together a fashion show with a purpose.

“Traeh died by suicide Oct. 3rd, 2019, after bullying,” said Thyssen. “Though I could not save him, I still believe in hope. So, it’s my hope that by doing these events, continuing these events, that no other family will have to experience the debilitating loss that we have.” 

Besides Thysenn bringing awareness, everyone part of the experience wants change. Model participant, John Badin, says mental health is real.  

“We tend to think that you can solve those problems with religion and spiritual health, but it’s something that there are professionals that deal with this on a regular basis that can help you through whatever you may be going through,” he said. 

And this problem needs to be emphasized in some communities, according to Badin. 

“Dealing with people of color and African-American communities is something that we tend to shy away from,” he said.  

From models to a foundation with a vision, items being worn in the show will also consist of a Southern University fashion organization, Elite Fashion Society, that not only made the items, but also has a goal to bring awareness. 

“So, our theme is based on black restoration and resistance. So, a lot of our colors go into the palette of like a sunset. So, it all comes together with the idea of restoration and peace,” said Southern University student Janeice Allen. 

Those attending the fashion show can expect models participating from a variety of ages, mental health resources by community organizations and models wearing items from 10 other designers from around the country who want to bring suicide awareness. 

The event will be Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, starting at 1 p.m. with a vendor resource fair and the runway show starting at 3 p.m. inside Enchanted Gardens Venue in Baton Rouge. Tickets can be purchased at or