A dedicated teenager has been credited for saving the lives of six people after she attached inspirational messages of hope at a notorious suicide hotpot.
Paige Hunter has been given a commendation certificate from Northumbria Police after she posted over 40 uplifting notes to Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland.
The 18-year-old Poundworld employee’s messages told people contemplating taking their own lives that they were ‘not alone’ and asked them to ‘hold on’.
She explained: ‘Since I put the messages up I’ve had a lot of comments from people. They’ve said it’s been really inspiring.
‘It’s just amazing, the response it has had. I wasn’t doing this for an award; it was just something that I wanted to do.
‘I just want to help people and I’ve been told it’s already helped save six lives.’
One note reads: ‘Even though things are difficult, your life matters; you’re a shining light in a dark world, so just hold on.’
Another states: ‘Be strong because things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it never rains forever.’
One person whose life was saved by Paige’s notes told Sundeland Now that she is getting the help she now needs.
The mother, who chose to remain anonymous, said: ‘Depression is a hard thing to deal with and I felt so so alone that I went to Wearmouth bridge.
‘All I needed was somebody to tell me it was going to be ok or for someone (sic) just to say ‘when you feel like giving up just remember why you held on for so long’ and that was my kids that’s why I keep fighting every day to see them grow and Paige Hunter if it was not for you and what you did my boys would have had no one.’
Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt said Paige ‘has shown an incredible understanding of vulnerable people in need of support’.
She added: ’For somebody so young, Paige has shown a real maturity and we thought it would only be right to thank her personally. She should be very proud of herself.
‘It is important that we encourage people to speak out and raise awareness of mental health issues and the impact on peoples’ lives.’
‘She should be very proud of herself.’
For confidential emotional support, you can speak to The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.