Notes of hope! Woman's inspiring messages at suicide spots in the UK has saved 14 lives
Lisa Barnes started 'Bridge the Gap' campaign in June and ever since then she has helped people change their life.
In 2017, Lisa Barnes was driven to the brink of committing suicide, and she found herself standing on a railway bridge before being talked down. A year later, she's now saving lives across the UK. How? The mother-of-two had been posting notes of hope in most of the suicide spots across the UK with an intention to help those going through similar turmoil.
In a span of three months, Lisa says her notes have managed to save 14 lives. Lisa, who's from Tameside in Greater Manchester started the 'Bridge The Gap' campaign on June 9, 2018, and since then she's been writing notes of hope and placing them on bridges where people might contemplate to take their lives.
She believes the campaign has been working very well and she knows it for fact that it has helped people turn their life around because they have often contacted her and told her so.
As reported by Daily Mail, Lisa makes diamond-shaped reassuring cards and puts them at different places with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers and even local police. The entire idea has gained a lot of positive feedback, and now, Lisa is crowdfunding to make these signs permanent. She believes it is an extraordinary feeling to know that someone decided to give life a second shot because of one note. "It’s like wow, those little notes have saved 14 people. They are here now, walking around, where they possibly might not have been," she said. Looking back at some of the messages that she had received, Lisa recalled one that she had got from an anonymous woman. The woman praised Lisa for the notes saying she had almost taken her own life after driving at 5:00 am on the M60 looking for a bridge.
Looking back at her own incident, Lisa recalled that the thought of her children is what stopped her from taking the big step. "The thought of leaving my son without a mummy after thinking about them and knowing that the next day would be completely different led me to still being here. So thank you so much," she said. Luckily, someone talked her out of it.
As of now, 22 bridges have been covered with these beautiful notes, and Lisa plans on making them permanent. "The message we are trying to give is that when you are on that bridge, in that really dark place, if you are looking for a sign not to do it here it is," she said adding, "I was talked down by a negotiator, and I’m here now to help other people and tell my story. Ring the Samaritans, ring the helplines, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. What seems really bad today, tomorrow it doesn’t seem as awful, and you are loved."
Lisa decided to name the campaign 'Bridge The Gap' because of the gap between her being talked down from the bridge and getting help. "The NHS is amazing, every person I’ve dealt with has been amazing, but they’re underfunded. People can only do so much," she said. "I came home, and my husband was looking after me, and so it was the gap between it happening and being able to afford to counsel." After getting help, Lisa found solace in messages like "suicide doesn't take away the pain, it gives it to someone else."
She believes that with the help of these messages, maybe, she can stop someone from committing suicide and make them think about giving life another chance. "They’re handwritten notes - it’s a personal note, it’s not just a plaque that some charity has donated. When I write them I really do mean what I say on them, and I hope people can see that," she said. Greater Manchester Police have been working together with Lisa and identify other bridges to put the same.
She has been "blown away" with the amount of support and praise she has received from others. Now, she plans to expand her work with the help of GoFundMe page that hopes to raise money for further signs along more bridges. If you would like to donate to Lisa's GoFundMe page, please click here.