Hillmen Messenger

“Notes of Hope” offers support

Foresthill Bridge littered with notes of encouragement to deter suicide attempts

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By Alayna Fraser

Messenger Staff Writer

 

Many leaders in our community have stepped up to help post notes of hope on the Foresthill Bridge between Auburn and Foresthill. Since the bridge’s construction in 1973, there have been 87 deaths by suicide on the bridge but Brittney Hendricks, owner of the Crimson Tattoo Parlor, hopes to change this by placing inspirational messages on the bridge’s rails.

Hendricks stated, “I came across a video of a young girl named Paige Hunter in the UK that hung notes on a bridge in her town and had saved multiple lives and… I knew that we needed to do that on the Foresthill Bridge. I immediately made a Facebook post on [the] Chit Chat Auburn page and… my business page calling for a group to get it done. We called the City and got permission… [and] that Sunday we opened up our shop to anyone who wanted to help write notes and hang them on the bridge. Originally we only had 240 notes to hang, but now there are over 2,400 notes!”

So far, these messages have stopped two suicides. However, during the first weekend of September, vandals destroyed the notes left on the bridge and left hateful comments instead.

“We were shocked to find the vandalism. We saw the missing notes first and then the graffiti when we got to the bridge. I called the sheriff… but when they showed up they said it was the road department’s responsibility to cover graffiti [but] they wouldn’t be open until Tuesday (it was a Sunday). There was no way I was leaving it up for people to read for the following two days, so we covered it up ourselves and replaced the notes that night,” expressed Hendricks.

Many locals have posted notes, too, including some from Placer. Abigail Jones, freshman, posted some “Notes of Hope” with Hendricks and her husband Joe on September 30th.

Jones affirmed, “I think the main reason [I hung notes was]… to show awareness because not a lot of people… consider how many people commit suicide and I definitely think that suicide and death is something that we should talk about since it happens so often.”

This “Notes of Hope” movement is spreading quickly around Auburn, thanks to social media awareness and people who are willing to reach out in the community and help others.

Hendricks announced, “[‘Notes of Hope’ has] already grown so much more than I ever expected! I really didn’t think the videos would go viral and the news stations [would] want interviews, but I’m happy it did. Because it has kind of blown up, that means it gets seen more, therefore the message reaches much farther than just Auburn… I’m happy that ‘Notes of Hope’ has turned into more of a movement. Suicide is a very common occurrence these days, even in young children and I personally feel like if we made it okay to talk about actual suicide… perhaps more people would feel more comfortable asking for help. So far we have heard of three visitors to the bridge who went… with [the] intent to jump but [who were] shocked by all of the notes of love and support that they chose… not [to] jump and reach out for help. That in itself is more than we hoped for from the notes.”

Thank you to Brittney Hendricks for reaching out to our community, and to “Notes of Hope” for spreading the love.

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“Notes of Hope” offers support