GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) — An outpouring of responses, to a note scrawled on the wall of the girls bathroom “Is life worth all the bull****?” have been moved into the hallway at Golden High School. The display is meant to encourage others to express support or the need for some.
The anonymous message could have easily gone ignored, but instead it was soon surrounded with uplifting replies, written on colorful sticky notes.
The message was first discovered by Ashley Ferraro, an English teacher at Golden High School.
“When I first saw it, my reaction as a teacher was, ‘Ah graffiti! We need to cover this up or erase it or get rid of it!’ and then I had the thought of, if we do that, are we ignoring the question and the person that asked it and the pain that they’re in,” said Ferraro.
Her idea? Not only would the graffiti stay, she would open it up to students to respond to.
“I was just blown away at how many of the kids participated,” Ferraro continued, “so many of them were you are loved and there are people here that care about you and those are coming from kids that we wouldn’t typically expect.”
The response was so great, they opened up an entire wall for the students to continue responding. It’s the exact outcome she was hoping for. Students were making mental health part of their everyday conversation.
“Even I’ve said, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t feel like this, normal people don’t ask that question’ and that’s even more isolating and so if we were a little more open about having a rough day, maybe it wouldn’t be such a tough subject for everyone and we wouldn’t have the issues that we have,” said Ferraro.
Student Hannah Blackman, a sophomore at Golden High School, was so inspired by the response of her classmates, she started a fundraiser for Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services.
“We don’t really realize that we can relate to each other until we speak about it until we make the effort to reach out and say something about it,” Blackman continued, “So, for me personally, I’ve just kind of like pushed it out there so like everybody can see it and everybody can donate and has the opportunity to participate.”
An anonymous way for students, parents, school staff and community members to report concerns regarding their safety or the safety of others
The Trevor Project
Crisis prevention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals
Mobile Crisis Services, Denver Health
24/7 service that provides mental health support to residents of the city and county of Denver and to Mental Health Center of Denver consumers during and after a crisis