Who Posted These Signs for People Struggling With Depression?

A sign you’re not alone


(Courtesy of Don't Give Up Movement)

Mental health awareness is an important initiative for all communities, and when stay-at-home dad, Colby Wallace, noticed a crisis in his town, he decided to take action. A little over a month ago, 42-year-old Wallace from Queen Anne, Seattle, heard about the deaths of four teens--all by suicide, and he couldn’t fathom why people weren’t talking about how to prevent such devasting deaths.

When talking to a friend, Wallace learnt about the Don’t Give Up Movement, which began in 2017. Under similar deeply saddening circumstances, Amy Wolff (based in Newberg, Oregon), also felt the urge to help drastically lower the suicide rates in her town. She found her solution in a non-profit that sells signs, wall decals, and wristbands all with encouraging and motivational messages. Wallace loved the idea and knew it would provide an easy way for him to help.

Soon after hearing of the movement, he called Wolfe and paid $105 out of pocket on 15 signs that read: ‘You’re Worthy of Love,’ ‘Don’t Give Up,’ ‘You Matter,’ and ‘Your Mistakes Don’t Define You.’ He also purchased 200 branded wristbands to pass out.

Wallace said the positive feedback was immediate:

“We placed signs across the street from my daughter’s school and an older woman told me, ‘Thank you so much because people my age really need to hear this,” Wallace told Yahoo Lifestyle.”

The father sees the signs as reminders for those suffering; a way to remind them that they can find a way out of the darkness, all without invading their privacy. He also recognizes that even those who may seem happy could be battling deep sadness, and the messages can provide hope. Wallace wanted a way to reach people who felt too afraid or ashamed to come forward and seek help, letting them know they weren’t alone.

Soon, his five- and nine-year-old daughters’ elementary school asked Wallace if they could feature his work in their newsletter, naming his efforts the “You Matter” campaign. Wallace, his family, and volunteers help place signs all around town and donate money for additional signs. 

“I would love for someone to continue this work in other neighborhoods,” he said. “Really, anyone can do this.”

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