McCann Health announced today that Guinness World Records has awarded McCann Torre Lazur (MTL), the world record for The Orange Project, the largest online album of handwritten notes with more than 34,000 notes tallied.

Created by youth, for the youth, The Orange Project not only broke a world record, but also empowered adolescents to help save the lives of people just like them. MTL teamed up with UK-based, youth-focused, The Ideas Foundation, to roll out a worldwide creative competition asking teens how they would prefer talking to each other about suicide. Handwritten notes were their solution. Using the orange sticky note as a visual vehicle to speak out for suicide awareness, the team aimed to tell those suffering that suicide isn't the answer.

“When someone you love dies by suicide, there’s no handbook, no rules, no guidance for how to handle it,” says Jennifer Dee, VP, Director, Integrated Production at MTL, who founded the project following personal loss. “No one explains how to deal with the guilt or the grief or the questions. Nobody tells you how to sift through the darkness and come out on the other side. For months afterward, I didn’t want to do anything but lay in a fetal position for the rest of my life.”

But after many months of grieving, Jennifer decided that she needed to take action, to do something to prevent deaths like her boyfriend’s or experiences like hers, to break down the silence and stigma that surrounds suicide.

MTL kicked off The Orange Project on September 10th, World Suicide Prevention Day 2016, with a team of employees who volunteered to collect handwritten notes of hope and encouragement for those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

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