Our Buddy Project buddies do some really fantastic work and we couldn't be more proud of them. The program is geared toward children and young adults and provides positivity, companionship, resources and education for those who are struggling with mental illness or are in need of a support system. “Although a lot of artists do write about mental health,” she says. As of December of this year, over 195,000 people have signed up to be paired with a buddy. Buddy Project: Why I Created a Mental Health Non-Profit as a Teenager. Her idea, which eventually became Buddy Project, started with a Google Doc form for people to get paired with someone, “I think in under twelve hours, there were 3,000 sign-ups, which I didn’t expect to happen,” she says. “When I was in eighth grade, my best friend at the time told me that she was going through suicidal thoughts,” Frost says. Thank you to all those that will be running/walking this journey with me and for all the support and love we have received as a family. For students that are dealing with mental health issues, Frost recommends several things to deal with the pressures and stresses of college. Buddy Project connects children, teens and young adults who have mental health issues with others who deal with similar issues so they feel less alone. Frost came up with the idea when she was using social media to find people with similar interests. Finally, she wants to expand the Campus Rep Program to bring the Buddy Project to more middle school, high school and college campuses, and the Ambassador program, which encourages influencers of any type to raise awareness about mental health. Gabriella Frost, now a freshman at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded the Buddy Project, a non-profit movement that “aims to prevent suicide and self-harm by pairing people as buddies and raising awareness for mental health”. By using the buddy system while volunteering, you and your buddy can both have a great time meeting new people. When colleges and universities closed their doors last spring amid rising COVID-19 cases, many vulnerable student populations were left without critical campus resources. Frost is currently working on developing an app for Android and iPhone to bring The Buddy Project to mobile devices. “I basically just advertised it by tweeting about it on my personal account and then getting people to spread the word about Buddy Project by sharing info from its own account,” she says. Mental Health Mates is a network of peer support groups run by people with mental health issues, who meet regularly to walk, exercise and share without fear or judgement. Frost’s future goals include a Buddy Project app that will automatically pair buddies up and run successfully, replacing the manual buddy pairing she does. We pair based on mutual interest and age. Frost also has recommendations for helping others who may be struggling with mental health issues. The benefits of Peer Support are wide ranging for those receiving the support, peer-support workers themselves, and for the mental health system as a whole. Also make sure that your friends do small self-care things, like eating, showering and brushing their teeth. “I want to be able to give them the resources that they need in order to start making a change. And it’s never for the animal’s benefit. My teacher wanted us to find a cause we were passionate about and find other people in the class that were also passionate about it,” Frost says. We are here for you if you need help too and would like to share your story. Accomplishing those small things can help people find the strength to do more challenging things for those struggling with mental health issues,” she said. “And the first few buddies, people were a little skeptical.”, But the doubt of Buddy Project’s mission has faded as it has attracted more people looking for buddies. One of our recent volunteers who has now gone onto paid employment within mental health gave us an insight into their experiences working with the Buddy Project. 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