WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn (WTVF) — The holiday season can be difficult for those dealing with mental health problems, but a group of girls are trying to save lives at the Natchez Trace Bridge.
Kiera Jenkins, Sophia Degrasse and Adyson Goode brought markers, tape and poster board with them on their second trip to the Natchez Trace Bridge, but most importantly they brought a message for hope.
These 12 and 14-year-old girls are old enough to understand this beautiful bridge is often times the final stop for some people during their darkest days. Since 2000, more than 30 people jumped to their deaths at the Natchez Trace bridge, but the group of young women believe their messages of hope can help save countless lives.
"I hope that it’s an extra reminder and also spreading the word to other people, because I know people who don't even think about this and think that suicide is something that people just joke about," said 12-year-old Kiera.
They're writing the messages along the bridge through their partnership with nonprofit Build Her A Bridge, a ministry for girls in Nashville.
And to 14-year-old Adyson she says this is all personal for her. She said she struggled with suicidal thoughts, but thanks her friends for getting her out from those dark times.
"I remember getting notes from my friends when I was going through a time like that and they would be like a sentence long and it would make my day ten times better," she said.
The federal government has secured money to look for solutions like barriers to be placed under or on the bridge, which likely won't happen until 2023.
Until then, these girls say they will continue to hang their signs of hope even when park rangers take them down - at least until they too can find a more permanent solution.
Through the help of the nonprofit and a local art teachers, the girls are trying to secure a permit to create a mural to put along the sides of the bridge.