Sense of Place: Nuçi's Space changed the way Athens talks about mental health : World Cafe : World Cafe Words and Music Podcast Founded in the wake of a young musician's passing, this 23-year-old nonprofit has become a critical resource for the music scene in Athens, Ga.

Sense of Place: Nuçi's Space changed the way Athens talks about mental health

Nuçi's Space on World Cafe

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Nuçi's Space was named in honor of Nuçi Phillips, a young Athens musician who died by suicide in 1996. Courtesy of Nuçi's Space hide caption

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Courtesy of Nuçi's Space

Nuçi's Space was named in honor of Nuçi Phillips, a young Athens musician who died by suicide in 1996.

Courtesy of Nuçi's Space

Editor's note: Just a head's up — this World Cafe episode talks directly about suicide.

Nuçi Phillips is a name that most everyone in Athens, Ga., will recognize.

You'll find his name on posters in windows, on bronze plaques as you walk down the street, and on a busy street corner — not far from downtown — you'll see a blue brick building that bears his name: Nuçi's Space.

In the mid-'90s, Nuçi was a promising student at the University of Georgia. He loved playing guitar. He had lots of friends. But he was also struggling with clinical depression, and in 1996, Nuçi died by suicide at 22 years old.

In his wake, Nuçi's mother, Linda Phillips, founded a nonprofit organization to help musicians like her son get the mental health resources they need. Nuçi's Space also has its own recording studio and rehearsal spaces that musicians can rent out, plus summer camp programs for middle and high school-aged musicians.

World Cafe host Raina Douris with Nuçi's Space CEO Bob Sleppy. Kimberly Junod/WXPN hide caption

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Kimberly Junod/WXPN

For this final dispatch from our Sense of Place: Athens series, we meet some of the people behind Nuçi's Space, including Athens music producer David Barbe, to learn how the nonprofit has become a space beloved the local music scene — helping to destigmatize the topic of mental health in the process.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or is in crisis, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

This episode of World Cafe was produced and edited by Miguel Perez. Our senior producer is Kimberly Junod and our engineer is Chris Williams. Our programming and booking coordinator is Chelsea Johnson and our line producer is Will Loftus.

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