The Letters of Hope campaign was designed by The Aditya Birla Integrated School (TABIS) in 2019 with an endeavour to contribute and participate in World Suicide Prevention Day, observed on 10th of September. Suicide is a complex mental health issue that has a profound effect not only on the sufferer but also on his/her family and in turn, on the society. Hence, it becomes imperative that everyone comes together to make a contribution towards this cause no matter what is the quantum. With this objective in mind, the students of grade 6 to 12 of TABIS collaborated with Mpower to reach out to their peers in schools across the country to send in and invite their letters of hope. In less than a month’s time, the campaign received around 200 letters from students across 21 schools in 13 cities.
The earnest intent behind the Letters of Hope campaign is to pass on some amount of hope or happiness to anyone going through a tough or frustrating time if he/she reads a positive or hopeful message from his/her peers. Enabling a series of positive messages in the form of a written letter, an awareness poster, a work/design of a hopeful art, symbol, message, and quote really served a dual purpose. Firstly, it helped students engage in conversations around sensitive topics like depression and suicide with the intention of understanding how they could identify a friend or a family member going through a mental health concern. Secondly, it also gave the students a platform to explore various skills to communicate meaningfully with any person going through a tough time emotionally.
The students’ hopeful messaging expressed in creative forms and ways encourages and supports a shift in the reader’s perspective of life to a more optimistic and hopeful place. And most importantly, it also guides the reader to reach out and seek help from a trusted friend, advisor or mental health professional either at home or in school. Letters of Hope e-book can be downloaded, shared and read for free from the following link https://bit.ly/3ieGoFp
Commenting on the launch of ‘Letters of Hope’ e-book, Mrs. Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson, Aditya Birla Education Trust, said, “Letters of Hope is a wonderful campaign in which each touching letter has the potential to be the ray of sunshine in someone’s cloudy sky. It clearly highlights that suicide is not the solution to be resorted to at any point of time in life. It is really heart-warming to witness the younger generation talk about it. In line with this year’s theme of World Suicide Prevention Day - ‘Working together to prevent suicide’, it becomes very critical for caregivers to be aware of the non-verbal signs which one should observe and read the underlying messages which can, in turn, help one save a life of a friend or a relative.”
Piya Marker, Director, Head of School (TABIS), said, “I am so proud of my students at TABIS, they have truly grown as people. To be able to start and sustain a movement that has empowered other children to reach within themselves and share kind words of hope with someone else is truly admirable. This reminds me of a quote I read a while ago, ‘When I was young I admired clever people, but now that I’m older, I admire kind people’.”
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