Dad posts 'Never Give Up' signs around town to try lower suicide rates
A father has taken it upon himself to distribute 'Never Give Up' signs around town after a string of teen suicides were reported in the local area.
When Colby Wallace heard about the four teen suicides in King County earlier this month, he became concerned - especially because, as he told Yahoo Lifestyle, "no one was really talking about it".
That was when a friend of the 42-year-old father told him about the 'Don’t Give Up Movement' which was launched in 2017 by Amy Wolff, a mom in Newberg, Oregon who started sharing motivational signs in her community in response to soaring suicide rates.
Wolff now runs a non-profit which sells signs, wall decals, and wristbands with phrases of encouragement.
Wallace was impressed by the idea and so the stay-at-home dad got in touch with Wolff and spent $105 on 15 of her signs including: 'You’re Worthy of Love,' 'Don’t Give Up', 'You Matter', and 'Your Mistakes Don’t Define You'. He also paid $30 for 200 branded wristbands.
"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 tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
The signs are gentle reminders that those who are suffering with their mental health are not alone and are capable of getting better.
"I’ve learned that you never know who is struggling," he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. "Some people seem like they have it together but need to hear this."
When his daughters' elementary school asked Wallace if they could feature the signs in the school's newsletters, people began helping him distribute the signs.
"A woman told me she was in tears after dropping off her daughter at school because the sign made her feel heard," he said.
While Wallace and his family had been placing the signs all around town, it soon came to their attention that someone was tearing them down, destroying the metal stakes and stealing the signs.
"Maybe it’s someone who needs to hear these messages," Wallace suggested.
Neighbours have started donating money to Wallace so that he can replace the signs and he’s already spent $400 on new orders.
The doting dad will post signs throughout spring and continue again when school starts.
“I would love for someone to continue this work in other neighbourhoods,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Really, anyone can do this.”