Have a Seat, Make a Friend

Walking around UVic, you may notice something strange: amidst the sea of green benches found across campus, one bench stands out due to its bright yellow colour.

Interestingly, the vibrant colour of this bench represents a nationwide campaign called “Yellow is For Hello.”

This campaign was created in effort to spark further discussions about mental health and reduce existing stigma surrounding these conversations.

The purpose of this bench is to start a conversation, with the idea being that students who see an individual sitting alone on the bench are encouraged to join them by taking a seat and saying hello.

Sam Fiorella, the co-founder of Yellow is for Hello, hopes this campaign will serve to remind us that this behaviour should not take place only on a yellow bench; kindness should take place everywhere, and reaching out for help must be both normalized and encouraged.

Fiorella made a personal appearance at UVic to share this message on January 16, 2018 during the unveiling of the friendship bench in front of the Student Union Building.

If you find yourself passing the friendship bench, don’t be afraid to have a seat! Who knows, maybe it will spark a much needed conversation about the hardships of university life and the best ways to seek support. 

For more information on the Yellow is for Hello campaign, such as other locations these benches can be found, please see The Friendship Bench website!

Yellow bench with sign saying "the friendship bench"

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