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Writing letters to ease depression from COVID-19

ORLANDO, Fla. – The uncertainty of the pandemic, job loss, isolation contribute to the increase of people feeling depressed, lonely, and mentally unstable.

But for thousands of people around the world, a simple act of kindness is helping them pull through.

Robert Mason writes letter after letter after letter to people all across the world who are suffering in silence.

“I went through a very bad spiral of depression,” explained Mason.

He created a Facebook post asking for anyone who felt the same way and promised to write them a letter. There was an immediate response that kept growing.

“We have sent out letters to just over 2,000 people to date from all over the world,” Mason shared.

That was the start of Letters Against Depression, a website where people can fill out a questionnaire and be matched with a volunteer who writes them a letter.

Emily Dehmer reached out after dropping out of school.

“I admire your courage and determination to recover and live a better life. It just brought me a lot of hope,” Dehmer read from a letter.

Yasmin Flasterstein is a volunteer writer who shares her journey while helping others through their tough times.

“I know how much a small act of kindness or a little word can change someone’s day. From even feeling suicidal to wanting to fight for even another hour,” exclaimed Flasterstein.

“People will reply and say, ‘your letter saved my life today,'” smiled Mason.

The letters connect people throughout 60 countries who are feeling alone in the world.

It’s completely free to receive a letter and entirely anonymous.

The letters are sent to Mason, who makes sure the content is appropriate, and then he mails your letter.

It costs about $7,500 a year for postage and other business costs. A small grant and donations help to cover the expenses. To sign up for a letter or to volunteer, click here.