Linking with a Buddy
It’s not uncommon for those with mental illnesses to experience loneliness. Sometimes, it’s the brain tricking you into thinking you’re alone despite being around people close to you, or it can be self-inflicted and isolating yourself from others, unable to bring yourself to be social in any way.
Gabby Frost, a college student at Drexel, recognized this, and started a non-profit called The Buddy Project. The program pairs teens and young adults who feel are going through a difficult time, such as poor mental health or thoughts of suicide, matching them up based off of interest. As the sign-up process describes, the users need to sign up through either their Instagram or Twitter accounts, and once they’re eventually paired with their buddy, are allowed to talk about whatever they want. This isn’t just exclusive to the U.S. and is available for youths around the world, aiming to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and introducing compassionate and empathetic concepts at an early age before mental illness symptoms could possibly worsen.
Gabby first began the program in 2013 at 14 years old, and in the almost six years since it’s started, has paired up more than 230,000 teens and young adults! Another part of The Buddy Project is through its own Instagram: the posts are pastel, aesthetically pleasing, and short, featuring facts, reminders, and even short poems submitted by users.
Check out more about The Buddy Project here!
What do you think about the program? Do you know any other adolescents who are also creating a platform to talk about mental health?