Man Spreads Messages of Hope Across His City
“Hey you, don’t give up,” reads one sign pasted to a bridge in Peterborough, Ontario. It’s a message that Andrew Nelson could have used three years ago when he tried to commit suicide after what he calls a very rough patch in his life. His friends intervened and saved him and he’s been trying to help others in the same position ever since.
“It’s super important to have a support system and know that you have people in the world you can reach to.”
Just before Christmas, Nelson began putting up signs with messages of hope and inspiration around his city as a way of letting others who may be struggling know that there are people who care.
“If they are having a bad day – if they are walking to maybe that bridge to commit suicide, or to go home and take too many pills – [the hope is] that they see that sign and hold on a little longer.”
Nelson, who works as a Harm Reduction outreach worker, says it’s important to speak up about mental illness and to not let it define you. He adds wintertime can be a difficult for some people who are already struggling. He says he’s always there for anyone who needs a helping hand or an ear to listen. His Facebook group is called Nels You Are Not Alone Project.