TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Wednesday, dozens of community members gathered outside of Terre Haute City Hall for the first kindness rock movement event put on by the Lost and Found Suicide Prevention Coalition.
“We want to spread around as much kindness as we can to prevent suicide. So, every rock has a kind message on it to promote life,” said Jase Allsup, director of development at Mental Health America.
The rocks were painted over the past year by members of the coalition and other organizations with the hopes that community members would distribute them for others to find.
In addition to a kind message, on the back of the rocks you can find “Text HELP to 741741” which directs people to the Crisis Hotline.
Cristina Crist, the executive director of Team of Mercy, says she hopes the rocks have more than one impact.
“There might be somebody out there that hasn’t heard ‘I love you’ for who knows how long. Then all of a sudden they’re walking along and they see a rock that says ‘I love you’, then on the back of it is ‘Text 741-741’, they might actually Google that and see what that means,” Crist said.
At the event, several community members spoke to a crowd including suicide survivor Leah Piper.
In October of 2015, Piper says she lost her daughter to suicide without warning signs.
“She was happy, she was artistic, there wasn’t any signs that we could really see that this was ever on her mind or this was something she was wanting to do,” Piper said.
Piper says she hopes that events like the kindness rock movement can lift someone’s spirits and potentially save their life.
“This initiative is wonderful, if they’re down in the dumps or depressed like maybe my daughter was at the time, if she had found one of those rocks that said smile, your smile matters, you’re beautiful, make today count, one more day, just breathe, something to snap them back into ‘That’s right. This is life and it is hard but that’s okay’,” Piper said.
Both Allsup and Crist say they hope to do this event again within the next few months.
If you are interested in the Lost and Found Suicide coalition, the coalition meets the third Wednesday of every month at 4 P.M. The meetings are held at Mental Health America.