Teenager's bridge notes 'help save six lives' in Sunderland
A teenager who attached uplifting messages to a bridge to help people facing a mental health crisis has helped save six lives, police said.
Paige Hunter, 18, tied more than 40 notes to Sunderland's Wearmouth Bridge.
One note says: "Even though things are difficult, your life matters; you're a shining light in a dark world, so just hold on."
Northumbria Police Ch Supt Sarah Pitt said it was an "innovative way to reach out to those in a dark place".
She said it was important to encourage people to speak out about mental health problems, adding: "Paige has shown an incredible understanding of vulnerable people in need of support.
"For somebody so young, Paige has shown a real maturity and we thought it would only be right to thank her personally.
"She should be very proud of herself."
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The East Durham College student, who also works at Poundworld, was given a commendation certificate from the force.
Paige said: "Since I put the messages up I've had a lot of comments from people. They've said it's been really inspiring.
"It's just amazing, the response it has had. I wasn't doing this for an award; it was just something that I wanted to do."
Since 2013, Northumbria Police's Street Triage service has seen a team of dedicated officers and mental health nurses work alongside each other to respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.
It was set up in partnership with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.