Buddy Project was founded by Gabby Frost in April 2013, when she was 15-years-old and a freshman in high school. Frost created this initiative to prevent suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders after seeing many friends she knew personally and online that were going through mental illnesses, suicidal thoughts, self-harm addiction, and bullying. Buddy Project works by pairing people as buddies based on their interests (singers, bands, TV shows, movies, etc) and their age group (13-15, 16-18, 19-24, 25+). Buddy Project also promotes positivity to try and decrease the amount of bullying and negativity on social media. Buddy Project is open to all – regardless of one's age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, and socioeconomic status – because no one deserves to feel alone.
All of the people who are going through anything tough and just need that positivity in life inspire me to tweet.
Can you name some one-of-a-kind Twitter accounts that you follow?
Definitely Demi Lovato (@ddlovato). These days, you don't see many celebrities trying to raise awareness for mental health on a daily basis.
What will the world be like 10 years from now?
I hope that it will be a place more understanding of mental health, bullying, and individuality of others.
How has social media improved your life?
It's helped me become more aware of many issues, and also has helped me become more understanding.
How do you or your organization use social media? What makes your use unique?
Buddy Project utilizes social media by pairing people up as buddies so that they can always have a friend to be there for them, whether they need someone to talk to, vent/rant to, or to comfort them. There are also Buddy group chats through Twitter group DMs and the messenger app Kik, so that one can have a group of friends to talk to. Other than pairing buddies and making buddy groups, the program tweets text or pictures that give hope to those going through mental illness, self harm, or addiction; as well as tweets that inspire, motivate, or raise awareness for mental health. Buddy Project encourages its followers to speak up if they want professional help for a mental illness because they don't deserve to suffer in silence.