VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

All it took was some card-stock, markers and a whole lot of heart in a project one Vancouver woman hopes will make a life of difference for someone struggling with their mental health.

Mindi Reynolds is the mastermind behind dozens of positive messages and quotes strapped to the bars along the Lions Gate Bridge that popped up this month.

She, along with friend Mike Shaw and mother Isabella Mori, decided to pursue the project in line with World Suicide Prevention Day and a new day of awareness Reynolds is hoping will catch on called Your Life Matters Day.

On Sept. 8, the trio braved wet and soggy weather to Zap Strap the messages along the bridge, she told Black Press Media over the phone Tuesday night.

READ MORE: Canada’s children have high rates of suicide, child abuse, infant mortality:report

“They’re really just messages of hope and encouragement and just kind of things that I have had said to me and I have said to friends,” she said.

Mike Shaw, Isabella Mori and Mindi Reynolds. (Contributed)

By day, Reynolds is a legal assistant in the city. But like many she has been touched by mental illness, losing a friend to suicide 12 years ago while living in B.C.’s Interior.

“I thought about her a lot when I wrote these messages,” she said.

READ MORE: Living in the aftermath of suicide

As she and many of her friends continue to grieve the loss to this day, Reynolds said she wanted to do something that shares messages of hope and encouragement for those who visit one of B.C.’s most iconic bridges.

“I read an article in late July about a young woman named Paige Hunter in the U.K who had done this herself on the Wearmouth Bridge in England,” Reynolds said, adding that more than 13 people have credited Hunter’s efforts on helping them see that life is worth living.

“I thought that was amazing, and it was such a simple thing that could be done.”

One of the messages of encouragement along the Lions Gate Bridge. (Muna Kilani/Contributed)

While Reynolds said she may never know how many lives the notes impact, Black Press Media found one person who felt grateful.

Muna Kilani had first noticed the notes while driving over the bridge. Just last week, during a walk with her husband, the pair decided to take a closer look.

Kilani, a former volunteer at The Crisis Centre in Vancouver, said she’s seen a few people “in need of urgent care at the bridge” over the last three years.

“We feel tremendous sense of concern towards members of our community that need support,” she said.

“Suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility and those notes are a perfect example of compassionate and non-judgmental acts of care. It radiates hope as a stepping-stone towards help, and healing.”

Suicide prevention, mental health an everyday conversation

Reynolds said that while she plans to be back posting new messages along the bridge next year, conversations on mental health and wellness need to be happening every day.

“The biggest message more than anyone else is talk to your friends, talk to your family members. If someone is saying something that doesn’t feel right or out of character, talk to them, ask them for coffee, send them a note saying ‘I’m thinking about you’… Reach out to them. It’s really important for us not to ignore them.”

If you feel like you are in crisis or are considering suicide, please call the Crisis Centre BC suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433.

Other resources include: Canada Suicide Prevention Service at Toll free: 1-833-456-4566. You can also text 45645 or visit the online chat service at crisisservicescanada.ca.

Some warning signs include suicidal thoughts, anger, recklessness, mood changes, anxiety, lack of purpose, helplessness and substance abuse.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Counterfeit bills still being passed in Kimberley Cranbrook area

The $100 counterfeit bills identified in Kimberley earlier this month have been… Continue reading

NDP MPs hold town hall on proposed Green New Deal

Two NDP MPs held a town hall in Cranbrook to present a… Continue reading

Celebrating providers at Community Connections Support Services

Community Connections Support Services had a ‘thank you’ barbeque for local providers in the community

Rocky Mountain Rogues get ready for Saratoga Cup

The Rogues will be looking to defend their championship title from Sept. 7-8 at the Saratoga Cup

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read