UBC recently put a Friendship Bench on West Mall. The Friendship Bench is a yellow bench that encourages students to sit down and chat to each other. The bench is supposed to be a safe space for people to talk honestly and openly about mental health and really answer the question “how are you?” with more than just a few words.
The Lucas Fiorello Friendship Bench is a not-for-profit initiative that started when Lucas Fiorello took his own life in 2014. His family and friends remembered him as someone who reached out to others who were suffering from depression and anxiety, even though he was facing those issues himself.
With the hashtag #yellowisforhello, the bench is a reminder to students to take time to everyday to “to sit, breathe and talk (or think) about their mental health and that of their friends”. It has been implemented in universities and secondary schools to help students combat loneliness by creating face-to-face connections with other students.
“The Friendship Bench – About.” The Friendship Bench, Dec. 6 2016, https://thefriendshipbench.org/the-lucas-fiorella-friendship-bench/