I started hanging up cardboard signs with the words “You Are Loved” stamped on them 3 years ago. At the time, I was suffering from undiagnosed depression and I was still working on my journey with therapy. I found that when I was most stressed, it would help to hang those signs. It was initially supposed to be a one time thing, but I started trying to hang them every few months. I got the idea after watching “Exit through the giftshop”, where I realized that it was pretty simple to just hang up art without permission. I went out the next day and bought the two cheapest things I could find, cardboard and spray paint. Using a stencil I initially made 30 signs and hung them all throughout the valley. The only place they lasted longer than 3 days was at the U, every other location took them down pretty quickly. The great thing about it was that as long as I stuck to hanging the signs with only duct tape, there wasn’t any damage. The whole experience was really soothing to my depression shockingly enough, it felt like a good thing I could do and that thought helped a lot on some of my bad days. I decided to do it again, sticking to hanging the signs at parking garages around the valley and a few places around the U.
It eventually became a routine and I started to pay more attention to the other things that got hung up around the U. This led me to start using the UPD’s “Daily Crime Log” to monitor how often they took down white supremacy posters in the spring of 2019. I soon discovered that the “Daily Crime Log” also recorded how often the police had to intervene in mental health issues, and I started to keep track of that as well. This led me to trying to strategically time my signs to best try to reach out to students struggling with mental illness, it was a small thing I could do to try to best show them love. I would keep track of everything I could to best inform where to hang my signs and when, eventually I found myself with a lot of data on mental health around the U and I asked a friend to reach out to the Center for Student Wellness and a few other places around campus to see if I could be of any help with campus efforts to support students. I now have some people around campus I can reach out to, and submit my ideas for stickers and such to for mental health awareness. It is just so important to me that the students on campus know that there is someone who just is devoted to hanging silly little signs and spreading the words “You Are Loved” because everyone deserves to hear that.