Due to recent high profile suicides, there has been a resurgence of effort to remove the stigma around mental health issues around the world. A teenager from Sunderland, England decided to do her part to save lives and conquer that stigma by taking matters into her own hands.
Paige Hunter, 18, is a college student at East Durham College, and she also works as a sales assistant in a local shop.
In her spare time, Paige writes notes to strangers who might be struggling with negative or suicidal thoughts, hoping to save their lives.
“I know you’re tired. I know you’re physically and emotionally drained, but you have to keep going,” reads one of Paige’s notes. The teenager tapes these notes to Sunderland’s Wearmouth Bridge, a known suicide spot in her city. So far, she’s taped up forty of these uplifting notes.
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy,” another note reads, “I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”
Paige didn’t start this project for any reason other than the sheer love and goodness she feels in her heart. She has a truly empathetic nature that has not gone unnoticed by those who know her, and now she’s been honored by her local police department, too.
Northumbria Police Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt recently presented Paige with a framed commendation certificate on behalf of the police force in order to recognize her contribution to their society.
“We thought it was important to applaud the work Paige has been doing and the help she has given those in Sunderland who are going through a mental health crisis,” said Chief Superintendent Pitt. “Paige has shown an incredible understanding of vulnerable people in need of support, and this is an innovative way to reach out to those in a dark place.”
“For somebody so young, Paige has shown a real maturity and we thought it would only be right to thank her personally. She should be very proud of herself. It is important that we encourage people to speak out and raise awareness of mental health issues and the impact on peoples’ lives,” Pitt continued.
Paige’s notes have reportedly saved six lives already, proving that sometimes the most simple acts of kindness can make all the difference.
For her part, Paige remains humble about the attention she’s received, stating, “I wasn’t doing this for an award; it was just something that I wanted to do. My family are just proud of me and I’m going to put it up on the wall. I just want to help people and I’ve been told it’s already helped save six lives.”
Paige says the response she’s gotten from her notes has been “amazing” and inspiring, and she hopes to continue her efforts to reach out to people in their darkest hour and encourage them to hold on.
Please share this message to say thank you to Paige, and to remind others to seek help if they experience suicidal thoughts. The National Suicide Prevention line is 1-800-273-8255, and there is someone there 24/7 to help you. You are not alone!