The most trusted stranger in the world: You’re Not Alone!


Rachel Johnson

Frank Warren, Artist-Lecture Series guest speaker, the creator of Post Secret, an ongoing community mail art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously, takes photos with people who attended and autographs books as well. Photo by Rachel Johnson

PostSecret creator and suicide prevention advocate Frank Warren spoke on Thursday, Jan. 18th in Akin Auditorium.

Throughout his presentation, Warren recounted the story behind his creation of PostSecret which allows people from all over the world to write down their biggest secrets on a postcard and send it to his home address in Maryland.

Warren said that during the creation of this program, he had been working for the suicide prevention line called HopeLine. Since the official establishment of PostSecret, he has donated more than one million dollars to that same organization.  

Once he initiated his website, he soon began to realize the immense impact that it had on people everywhere. For example, Warren shared with the audience a postcard of a picture a child had taken of his bedroom door. It read, “The holes are from when my mum tried knocking down my door so she could continue beating me.”

Shortly after posting this on the PostSecret website, Warren started to receive emails from other people sharing stories about their own broken bedroom doors. One was from a girl who said the doors didn’t depress her because all that time she thought she was the only one who held that same secret.

A number of attendees interviewed that night spoke about their reason for attending.

Ashlee Fandrich, a senior English major, who has been a follower of PostSecret, said, “One particular secret about 911 really gave me the chills so I wanted to come and get to see what he has to say.”

Another attendee of the night, Derek Soper, hall director in the Legacy Residence Hall, said, “I have read some of his books and saw the online website which made it seem interesting so I wanted to see him in person.”

Following his show, several others that had attended were willing to open up to just how moving his  message had been. More specifically, what they believed PostSecret can provide to the people who might be struggling with depression or going through something very difficult in their life.

Danna Ellison, junior English major, said, “It’s a reminder that you’re not alone. Hearing the stories and even reading the posts remind me that there are people out there going through or have experienced the same thing I am and it gives me a little glimmer of hope that maybe someone does care or that I can get through whatever the situation is.”

Catherine Stepniak, senior Psychology and Sociology major she believes that PostSecret has become so well-known all across the globe “because it unites people under common humanity. Everyone can see themselves in one of these secrets.”

For those who feel the need to want to their own secrets, visit the PostSecret website or call the suicide prevention line at 1-800-273-8255.