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I’m lucky enough to have had PostSecret’s founder, Frank Warren, come to speak at Western. He doesn’t come to Canada very often, usually touring in the States, but his blog has influenced and inspired people from all over the world. Last week, I wrote about a couple of organizations in support of mental health, PostSecret being one of them. On March 8, I went to the PostSecret Live event at my school, and it may just have changed my outlook on life a little bit.

The best part about the event was near the end, when audience members were encouraged to walk up to one of two microphones and share a secret. I’m not going to go on about what the secrets were, but instead, I’m going to talk about the reactions that I saw throughout the audience. Everyone was incredibly receptive to whatever the person at the microphone had to say. There were easily over 2000 people at the event, all supporting whoever was at the microphone. Literally, you could hear “I’ve got your back” amongst the silence.

People really want to listen, so never be afraid to speak.
Depression happens. Eating disorders happen. Rape happens. Suicide happens. What’s important is that we talk about it, and end the stigma against mental illness. Have a secret? Share it.

Frank said something during his talk that really stuck with me. The best thing you can do for somebody is to ask “how are you”. Countless lives have been saved because somebody has asked “how are you” at just the right time, whether through text, email, a phone call, or in person. The second best thing you can do is remove the means. If somebody has joked about suicide, make sure they don’t keep a firearm or prescription medications at home. Actions like this save lives.

“The children who are most broken by this world become the adults most likely to change it.” – Frank Warren

Photo courtesy of Vanessa Lam.