One small gesture can have a HUGE impact.
Brittni Darras probably didn't know at the time just how powerful her small gesture would become.
"It was the first time I cried in a parent/teacher conference," said Darras.
Darras was in a parent/teacher conference with the mom of one of her students, when the mother, who came to the meeting with a list of her daughter’s teachers. Next to each of the names was a “yes” or “no,” indicating whether the girl wanted her mother to reveal the reason she hadn’t been in classes for a couple weeks.
“And so when her mom sat down, she said, ‘You have a yes next to your name,” explained Darras.
The mother said that her daughter not only planned to commit suicide, but was in the act of doing so when the police got a Safe 2 Tell report, broke in, and stopped her.
She had deleted her social media accounts and left goodbye letters; she was ready to leave the world.
"Her mom was sitting there in tears, I started crying. Her mom said that she had no idea.”
Darras, in disbelief that her "beautiful" and "bright" student would try to end her life, asked if she could write a letter to the teen.
Her letter made a huge difference.
The handwritten note was delivered to the hospital by the girl’s mother, and it said her how much she cared, how the girl was missed in class, and that they wanted her back.
The girl was shocked.
“Her daughter’s reaction was that she was amazed that somebody could say such sweet things because she didn’t think anybody would miss her if she was gone,” Darras said.
And this got Darras thinking.
“Hearing that from somebody who is so bright, so beautiful, so fun — to understand that she didn’t think that she had a purpose, she didn’t think that anybody cared, that’s the hardest thing,” Darras said. “I wouldn’t have expected it from her. So that’s just when I realized that something had to be done to make these students realize that they each are special, and they do matter.”
So she took action over the next couple of months and wrote out around 130 personalized letters, which she shared on her Facebook (shown below), to each one of her students, explaining what made them special.
This powerful and loving statement has been shared almost 200,000 times and counting. And it's because it's shows how one small act of kindness can make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering from depression.
People who are depressed come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. It can be the perky cheerleader just as easily as it can be the emo kid. You just never really know when someone is suffering.
A simple letter — like these — just telling someone they're special, can easily brighten someone's day and make them think twice about ending their life.
Suicide is an epidemic that continues to grow everyday, especially with kids.
Let this teacher inspire us all to make a difference for someone who might be suffering, even silently.
A simple act of kindness could save someone's life.