JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. -- Johnson County mental health leaders are asking business owners for help.
They have a unique idea to reach people with depression. The idea is to let them know they're not alone. They believe something as small as a sticker could save a life.
"It's just a very little sticker, but it carries a lot of impact, and I think the potential for it is great," Johnson County Deputy Claire Canaan said.
The sticker is the focus of a new campaign from the Johnson County Mental Health Coalition. It has a simple message and lists resources for those struggling to call if they need it.
Members of the coalition hope business owners will partner with them to reach their customers at what could be the lowest point in their lives.
"Culturally we have to do something different," said Kevin McGuire, chair of the coalition. "We have to think outside of the box to try to help individuals who may not necessarily know that there is help. That kinda brings us back to why something as simple as putting stickers on a pizza box. That's what we're trying to do to help those people."
They're looking for businesses that give out things like bags, items, deliver food or any other creative way to get their message out. They could put them on a coaster or stick them on a to go cup. If you ship items to customers, maybe put one on a box.
"Maybe you order a pizza, and it comes to your door and it says on this sticker, 'You're not alone,' and here's several resources for you. And maybe it kind of pulls you out there, and maybe it pulls you out there and makes you reach out to somebody and talk about what you're struggling with," Canaan said.
The stickers are free to businesses and paid for through donations and fundraising through Johnson County Mental Health.
McGuire said Johnson County has the second highest suicide rate in the state, behind Sedgwick County.
He said if they can reach just one person and give them hope in their life, it will be worth it.
"If we can let somebody know that there's someone on the other side of that phone and ready to help you get away from suicide, that's something a simple sticker can do," McGuire said. "My hope is that we will save lives. If we can save one life through a thousand stickers, then we are on the right path."
If you are a business owner and want to partner with the coalition on this project you can contact them at 913-826-4200.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.
Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).
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