//Unveiling of the “Friendship Bench” for Mental Health at Corpus Christi H.S.
Submitted by John D’Addario
St. Gabriel’s, Burlington

This not-for-profit corporation was launched in April 2015 to continue the selfless acts of Lucas Fiorella, a Canadian student who, after suffering from depression in secret for a number of years, took his own life in October 2014. In the aftermath of his death, Lucas’s family and friends learned about his silent battle but also his efforts to reach out and save other students who were also suffering. A number of Lucas’s friends and classmates reported that he took the time to reach out to them when he sensed they were suffering from anxiety or depression. Each conversation started with a “hello” and in each case, Lucas provided the courage to speak about their suffering with family and/or professionals and prevented these students from dropping out of school or taking their own lives through suicide.


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