An anonymous cry for help scribbled on a bathroom wall inspired a flurry of encouraging messages in a Denver high school. Now the responses have spread from that wall to the internet as students seek out ways to support each other.
A Desperate Question
The question read, “Is life worth all the B.S.?”
Golden High School English teacher Ashley Ferraro noticed the message in the girls’ bathroom last week. She immediately encouraged her students to respond with their own supportive words written on sticky notes and posted on that bathroom wall.
More than 50 notes now surround that desperate question.
“It provided an opportunity to help someone in pain,” Ferraro told CNN.
One note reads: “Yes, because you will find love in your future…in yourself…and in your favorite things to do and the small things in life.”
Another says: “Life is worth it because even if it’s bad there is always a good. We were all put here for a reason, we all go through something tough. It always gets better.”
A Loving Answer
“I was really impressed with how many kids participated,” the English teacher said. “And the ones you would never expect to participate… did.”
The love will be spreading throughout the rest of the school when the sticky notes are moved to the hallway, so others can join the conversation prompted by the question.
“My hope is that it isn’t such an isolated feeling – so people don’t think they’re the only ones feeling that way and to reach out for help,” Ferraro told CNN.
She relishes working with the type of kids who see another student in pain – and choose to help.
Spreading Messages of Hope
Golden High student Hannah Blackman is helping spread the hope beyond the school’s walls.
“When I saw the sticky notes, I thought it would be something amazing to start a movement. I figured I could use social media to spread the word even further about suicide prevention and giving help to those that need it.”
The sophomore launched a Facebook campaign that raises money for Suicide Prevention and Crisis services.
“Since this kind of thing written on a bathroom wall is considered ‘vandalism,’ it’s hard to find a gray area of what we should respond to and what we should ignore,” Blackman told CNN. ” I think it’s always – always– important to reach out and see if anybody needs help or even just a small act of kindness like the sticky notes.”
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers. For more ways you can get help for someone who might be suicidal, click here.