Student's bumper sticker saves stranger's life

With a coffee in hand, Brooke Lacey returned to her car last Monday morning to find a folded note tucked under her windshield.

Expecting it to be someone angry about her parking, the 22-year-old university student from Wellington, New Zealand, grabbed the white napkin but didn’t “nervously” read it until a few hours later.

After scanning the brief message, Ms Lacey said her “heart dropped”.

“Your sign saved my life today,” it read.

The stranger's note Brooke found on her car. Source: Brooke Lacey/Twitter
A university student saved a stranger’s life last week while on her usual coffee run. Source: Brooke Lacey/Twitter

“I left my house with a plan and asked for a sign, any sign, I was doing the right thing when I saw your car in the parking lot. Thank you.”

Ms Lacey told Yahoo News Australia she had created a bumper sticker for her car over a year ago with the intention of helping others, but she had forgotten about it until now.

“Please don’t take your life today,” the sticker reads.

“The world is so much better with you in it. More than you realise, stay.”

Brooke's bumper sticker seen on her car next to a selfie of the student. Source: Brooke Lacey/Twitter
Ms Lacey created a bumper sticker for her car over a year ago with the intention of helping others but had forgotten about it until now. Source: Brooke Lacey/Twitter

Idea behind life-saving bumper sticker

The 22-year-old said she came up with the idea while trying to think of a way she could help people during such a difficult time for so many.

“With the pandemic, our mental health system is quite overloaded,” she said.

“I hoped there could be just one person who was looking for a sign or had plan in mind and it would make them sit back and rethink that.”

Ms Lacey explained she had previously struggled with her mental health but is now in a better place.

“When you’re well you kind of forget that some people are waking up in the morning and everything for them is make or break,” the student said.

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'I'm so glad you chose to stay today'

The 22-year-old posted an image of her bumper sticker and the kind note to Twitter last week, thanking the anonymous writer for choosing to stay.

Her kind gesture has attracted a lot of attention, with many people asking Ms Lacey for one of the stickers.

She said she made 600 copies originally and has since been sending them out.

The political science student, who is in her last year of university and will soon begin an internship in the country’s Parliament, said she hopes to continue to be an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention.

Laminated signs Brooke created on a bridge and in front of the ocean. Source: Brooke Lacey/Twitter
Last year, the 22-year-old left laminated signs with uplighting notes near trains, bridges and large bodies of water across Wellington. Source: Brooke Lacey/Twitter

“I truly believe that politicians who haven’t experienced the system shouldn’t be making those decisions,” she said.

Last year, the 22-year-old also left laminated signs with uplighting notes near trains, bridges and large bodies of water across Wellington.

A spokesperson from Suicide Prevention Australia told Yahoo News Australia “we all have a role to play in suicide prevention”.

"It can be as simple as being a good neighbour or friend — looking out for signs of distress and knowing what supports can be recommended. Check in with those around you regularly, it can save a life.”

If you or someone you know needs support during this difficult time, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.

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