We’ve all had that one friend. That one friend who had so much mental anguish in their heads, that they couldn’t express through words. Instead, some drive towards a quick end, committing suicide just before they can truly begin their life in earnest.
This has become a very serious problem. In 2016 alone, the suicide rate jumped to a staggering 13.26 suicides in every 10,000 individuals. People often feel alone and don’t know who to turn to.
Well, according to not only numerous scientists, not to mention Gabrielle Frost, founder of The Buddy Project, a supportive friend is the best place to start in suicide prevention.
The Buddy Project was started three years ago by Drexel University Freshman Gabrielle Frost as a non-profit organization dedicated to help prevent suicide and self-harm in the simplest way possible: increasing positivity towards the depressed whilst encouraging education about mental health to those unaware that depression is a mental illness.
Frost’s mission began in eighth grade, when her friend confided in her about the depression she felt.
“That really, I guess, shocked me. I didn’t really have anyone in my life that went through that. And it was only earlier in that year that I became aware of mental health as a whole because of Demi Lovato coming out about what she had.”
It had begun with a few simple tweets of support. Frost had sent out messages to three girls contemplating suicide, and from there, insisted to others to tweet out their support to those similar to the original three girls.
From that, Frost created The Buddy Project to help those like her friend get help, and helping others like herself learn about mental health as a whole. Since the founding of The Buddy Project four years ago, over 163,000 people have signed up to receive a buddy.
She has worked with a wide variety of people, some even as young as 10 years old. It is still in its infancy, in a way, with Frost at the head of it, working out the logistics, ensuring an equal amount of buddies for everyone.
After all, if you want to help those in need, you’ve got to start one good buddy at a time.