Children From an Elementary School Provide Supportive Remarks and a Pep Talk.

They had no idea that their phone line, which uses the voices of some of the students in their elementary school, would end up receiving 2.2 million calls from people in the United States and other countries when two art teachers in Healdsburg, California, set out to create a hotline for anyone in their small wine country town in need of a mental health lift this past March.

Calling this number (707-873-7862), cleverly known as PepToc, will give you seven options of bilingual pre-recorded messages from happy elementary school children. Press one number if you need encouragement, another if you’re feeling anxious and frustrated, and a third if you just want to hear children laughing loudly, which is some of the best medicine when you’re feeling stressed about life.

One of the project’s co-founders, 43-year-old Jessica Martin, who oversees the art programme at West Side Elementary School, claims she never imagined this idea would be adopted, especially given that the original goal was to engage the community through the phone-in number and a project in which students at the school made signs with encouraging messages that were then posted around the neighbourhood.

If we were lucky, she says, “we could get 100 calls a month.” “I believe that this appeals to people much since it emphasises the importance of children and their knowledge. As we traverse a difficult, hectic world, hearing their voices is very soothing.

Asherah Weiss, a 35-year-old art educator and Martin’s collaborator, claims that callers are responding to the children’s statements because of their spontaneity.

We didn’t practise our lines of speech, she admits. We didn’t tell them what to say, either, and I believe that when people listen, they can see that it’s a message straight from the kids’ own mouths.

The two claim that since the hotline’s debut, they have received a deluge of thank-you calls and snail-mail letters.

According to texts Martin receives from people who are experiencing severe despair and anxiety, the hotline was truly a lifeline for them. “Another message came from a group of Kentucky nurses who said that contacting the hotline during a trying day at the hospital they work at brought them such joy and light. To hear this is really emotional.

This free resource for mental health demonstrates how everyone could benefit from a little encouragement when life becomes tough.

Everyone is seeking a small ray of sunlight wherever they may get it, according to Weiss. “Adults have reported calling the helpline and crying, they said. When someone responds viscerally and naturally, you know you’ve struck a home run. I believe that right now, people need this.

The next project for Martin and Weiss is a book that will include motivational posters they have sought from everyone worldwide who is 21 years of age or younger and has a special and inspiring message to impart to their community.

According to Weiss, “the book itself is a chance for many more young people who reside all over the world to join part with the project.” “Even though entries are just now coming in, they are already incredibly encouraging to us and everyone around them. That is what motivates us.

Visit the PepToc website to learn more about the poster project or to donate to support the hotline.

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