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Finding The Good: Showing support on a sidewalk

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FTG SIDEWALK SUPPORT

ENDICOTT (WBNG) -- If you walked by Jennie F. Snapp Middle School in September or October, you would have seen the sidewalk covered with chalk messages. Messages of hope.

"It's to let the kids know how we feel about them, and that there's somebody always there who's listening," explain Deidra Bigelow, a teacher at Jennie F. Snapp.

That's the idea behind "Chalk the Walk", something that Deidra Bigelow wanted to bring to her school.

"Well I heard about the "Chalk the Walk" initiative through Facebook, and I looked into it a little further to find it was for suicide awareness. And I just had a really good friend die from suicide a couple of years ago."

So now suicide awareness is something Deidra takes to heart.

"It's extremely personal, Matt was one of my best friends and we really didn't know that he was in that place. So to tell people to reach out, there's help...you know I go back and forth on 'if only i had known.'"

So she got her students involved, showing them how easy it is to make sure people know they are loved and they matter -- especially people their age.

"I think it's really important for this age group because they sometimes feel like they're alone, there's no one they can talk to and they like to keep those thoughts to themselves. So letting them know that there is someone out there is huge for them at this time in their lives."

But while the chalk writings have since washed away with time, Deidra says the message remains strong.

"If there's just one person that really just has these dark thoughts and is thinking that this is my last day and I don't want to be here again if we can just reach at least one person and save that life, that's huge. It just makes a huge difference."

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also find more resources by clicking here.

Scott Sasina

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