Buddy Project Founder
At age 15, AExME Council member Gabby Frost noticed many of her friends were struggling with suicidal thoughts. So, she started a suicide prevention website, and within the first 12 hours, 3,000 people signed up.
Six years later, that site—Buddy Project—has turned into a movement that connects people with online friends to prevent all forms of self-harm and raise awareness around mental health, bullying, and negativity on social media. The Buddy Project matches people by age and regularly spreads messages of positivity and empathy online, including advice like, “Self-care doesn’t have to be glamorous,” and, “Block people who don’t benefit your mental health.”
“I want to help de-stigmatize mental health issues because 1 in 5 people may have a mental illness, but 5 in 5 people have mental health. And we all need to understand the importance of keeping in check with our mental health,”
says the Drexel University student whose nonprofit has, so far, paired 232,000 buddies.
The Buddy Project is open to anyone 13 years or older who wants a new friend—you don’t need to be going through any type of mental illness to sign up! You just need to want to make friends, and support them with compassion and love.
“I can’t believe an idea I had as a 15-year-old laying in my bed at 1 in the morning is what it is today,”
says Gabby, who will soon be launching a Buddy Project app to further its reach and help even more young people.
“I hope I inspire more people to use their voice and not to be silent, because silence is so deadly.”
You can help celebrate Mental Health Month and support the Buddy Project by purchasing a limited edition hoodie online and at our SoHo store.
Meet all the members of the AExME Council here.