Saving Lives in Only 7 Seconds
How many times a day do you look at your phone? According to recent studies, the average person looks at their phone once every 12 minutes and spends over 3 hours a day interacting with it. In this new digital world, the way we connect with each other has evolved to include more and more time spent interacting through our phones via apps, social media, texting, and yes, even the occasional voice call. However, spending more time connecting through our devices doesn’t mean we always remember to reach out to the people who need it the most.
When Kristin Wall’s son, Ethan, was bedridden for twenty-three days, he missed a lot more than school and the regional basketball championships. Over the course of his illness not one friend or teammate reached out to him, and as Kristin observed, that had a devastating impact on her son’s mental state. “I watched him go into depression,” she said. “These boys are boys I’ve fed and treated like sons for years… and not a single text.” At first, Kristin was upset, but then she realized that her son’s friends hadn’t reached out not because they didn’t care, they simply didn’t think to do so. “It was a lack of thought. They just haven’t been taught or they are so wrapped up in their own world that they didn’t stop to think how impactful a quick, seven-second text could be on someone else’s life.”
Over the next few months, Ethan recovered, but Kristin saw even more turmoil in her town as three local girls attempted suicide, and another young mother took her and her two-month-old baby girl’s life. While these numbers seemed high, she realized that they were standard across the nation. In the last two decades, the rate of suicide in the United States has increased by 30% according to a report by the American Psychology Association. With this in mind, Kristin set out to make a difference. “Because of everything my family went through with my son and what our small town had faced, I felt led to create a movement called #only7seconds.” The goal of the movement was simple: spread kindness through thoughtfulness. “Taking seven seconds out of your day to send a text telling someone that you are thinking about them.” To Kristin, this simple thought meant everything. “You never know if that text could be the one thing that gives someone the inkling that life is worth living.”
Kristin knew that this message needed to be spread, and through her prior work with Custom Ink for her non-profit Delight and Be, she knew the best way to launch her new cause and garner support was with a Custom Ink Fundraiser. Using her website designer, Allysa Joy and Co., Kristin created a design for Only7Seconds that she felt would connect with people and let them spread the cause. The Only7Seconds fundraiser launched with the start of her campaign, and the whole team immediately got behind the idea of having custom shirts to represent their cause. “They loved it! We had so many people asking us for shirts of their own and how they could get involved,” said a team member.
your own t-shirt fundraiser
Pick a great cause and a name.
Choose your colors.
Create your design.
Set up the fundraiser.
Tell everyone you know.
With the help of their custom t-shirts, Kristin hopes the Only7Seconds message catches on across the entire nation. “We have more access now to communication than ever before and we are at an all-time high for isolation, depression, suicidal thoughts and actions.” So next time you look at your phone (or right now if you’re already on it!), take seven seconds to reach out to someone in your life and let them know how important they are. You never know how much a single message can mean.
If you would like to support Only7Seconds, check out their fundraiser here. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and their website for more information and to join the cause.
Attention: If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.