Sayville Middle School Joins
P.S. I Love You Celebration
The P.S. I Love You movement began in 2012, two years after a West Islip High School sophomore lost her father to suicide. Brooke DiPalma's father, Joseph, Jr who silently battled depression was a retired NYPD officer. Although his loss was devastating, she had been glad that her parting words with him on her way to school that fateful Friday in February had been “I love you.”
Brooke struggled with her loss, wondering how she could help others who were quietly fighting depression. Eventually she decided to share her message of love and healing on YouTube by holding up cards upon which she had written thoughts like "every suicide is preventable" and "you are not alone." Within the week, she had registered over 12,000 hits. In her first year she inspired over 70,000 viewers.
Nine years since her father’s passing, this young woman has continued to post her messages of love through her nonprofit organization, holding leadership conferences to educate students about mental health and choosing the second Friday of February and purple as the color to signify her P.S. I Love You campaign. Each year her message reaches more and more followers.
Along with 150 schools that participated in P.S. I Love You Day this year on February 8th , Sayville Middle School joined the mission to celebrate kindness, spread positivity and stand up against bullying. “Each one of our students,” said Middle School Guidance Counselor Cortney Culkin, “were given a post-it to fill out with a positive message. You’re Awesome, You Can Make a Difference, P.S. I Love You are just a few of the many kind words that our students wrote down. The guidance department arranged the post-it’s in our Commons and asked everyone to wear purple that day in support of P.S. I Love You Day. The students were also able to select one of the post-it notes in the Commons to bring home or put in their locker, notebooks etc., to remind them or someone important to them of a positive message when they may need it most. We hope to participate each year making it bigger and bigger and spreading kindness and love.”
News12 Headline: West Islip Teenager Brooke Dipalma Develops P.S. I Love You Day to Combat Suicide Depression: http://longisland.news12.com/story/34749257/west-islip-teen-uses-3-small-words-to-spread-huge-message
From the PS I LOVE YOU Website: "Our mission is to spread love in order to decrease bullying and promote mental health awareness. We strongly believe that by educating students earlier about mental health, this difficult conversation will be easier to discuss. On the second Friday of every February, we encourage communities to wear purple in order to foster kindness and a welcoming environment."