What is Buddy Project?
Regardless of how you stumbled across Buddy Project (BP), you're probably wondering what it is. I've gotten thousands of good questions in the past 3 years from people who want to know exactly what BP does. I decided to finally make a post that explains what BP is, what it does, and what you can do to become a part of the movement.
- Is a non-profit organization (501c3)
- Aims to prevent suicide and self-harm
- Pairs people with a buddy
- Raises awareness for mental health
- Tries to create a community for people who need support
Buddy Project started back in April 2013 and was created by Gabby Frost. Gabby created Buddy Project due to having friends from school and Twitter who went through mental illnesses, self-harm addictions, and suicidal thoughts. These friends always told Gabby that her support genuinely helped them become stronger, which was something she would never forget. One night after she helped three suicidal girls on Twitter, Gabby knew she had to do something to prevent situations like that from happening again. She remembered how her friends cherished their close friendship, so she decided to create a program for people to make new friends who would not only share an interest and their age, but also understand the importance of mental health.
It was originally just a buddy pairing program, but in mid-2015, it began its journey to becoming a non-profit organization. In December 2015, it finally became a 501(c)(3) organization.
Buddy Project, Inc. is a non-profit movement that aims to prevent suicide, self-harm and eating disorders by pairing people as buddies. We will primarily focus on children, teens and young adults across the globe by providing positivity, companionship, resources and education, in order to reduce the stigma of mental illness, bullying and negativity on social media. By introducing these concepts at an early age, we hope to promote empathy, compassion and awareness of mental health issues.
Buddy Project is a 501(c)(3) organization that will support behavioral health facilities and mental health research organizations in order to help minimize federal and state costs, and increase research efforts and funding.
Buddy Project has been pairing buddies since April 2013 and continues to do so today. You don't need to be experiencing any mental health problems to sign up for a buddy, you just need a Twitter account. You can sign up here, and all you need to do is enter your first name, age, Twitter user, and two of your interests. By signing up, you agree to become a friend to your buddy and try to be there for them. All that Buddy Project does is attempt to create friendships by taking away the steps of finding someone the same age as you who likes similar things. Once you've signed up, you'll have to wait until I pair buddies, which happens at least every few days. Directions to find your buddy will be posted when I update, so make sure you keep an eye on Buddy Project's tweets for when it happens.
We're trying to create more group chats in addition to the buddies, so that we can create tiny communities of people within the main BP community.
Raising Awareness for Mental Health:
A majority of Buddy Project's tweets focus on posting information to educate others on mental health. Recently, I've started a series on the website for people to post articles about specific mental illnesses. By doing this, Buddy Project helps raise awareness for the mental illnesses that don't get much recognition. In the future, I plan on doing more series similar to this so together as a whole, we can decrease the stigma surrounding mental health.
Creating a Community:
Buddy Project is something that anyone can join, regardless of mental health, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, and socioeconomic status. There's our main BP community, as well as the smaller communities in our BP group chats. I want Buddy Project to be a safe place for anyone who needs it, especially if they're feeling alone and misunderstood. There are countless people in the Buddy Project community who understand exactly how their fellow buddies are feeling, and there's always a place for anyone in BP.
Giving People a Voice:
Recently I've decided to begin posting not just mental health articles, but articles about the LGBTQIA+ community, feminism, body positivity, and entertainment as well. A large amount of BP participants identify as being in the LGBTQIA+ community, and I feel like it's important to give them a voice to educate the world on their identities.
The vast majority of BP participants have some type of interest based on a form of entertainment, whether it's music, TV shows, movies, or books. I feel like it's important for people to write about what they're passionate about, so I'm going to begin posting articles for people to write their appreciation for a certain person (singer, actor, author, etc), band, album, concert, TV show, movie, or book. I'll also try and post articles that relate celebrities to mental health or other important issues.
I'm also planning on posting articles regarding feminism and body positivity, as these are important issues that go hand in hand with mental health as well.
I hope this post helped you learn more about Buddy Project. If you still have questions, please submit them here and I'll try and answer as best as I can. Thanks!