Noah with one of the letters (Instagram)
A seventh-grade boy who threatened suicide in a post on Instagram has received thousands of letters from strangers telling him not to give up hope.
Noah Brocklebank of Columbia, Md., posted a photo of his cut-up arm to Instagram on Jan. 26 along with a chilling note: "Day of scheduled suicide, February 8th, 2013, my birthday."
"I just felt like everything was worthless," Noah told CBS News. "My life was terrible. I had no one."
He was subsequently hospitalized for depression and anxiety. While there, Karen Brocklebank, Noah's mother, launched a Facebook page soliciting letters for Noah's 13th birthday.
"I thought of it last night in the ER when I couldn't sleep," she wrote on Jan. 28. "Noah needs to know that he matters and that it does get better. So many people have been asking me how they can help. Well, this is how."
She continued, "Noah has been dealing with bullying for the past year. He has been feeling alone and left out, ostracized from old friends and a misfit among new kids. Things begin to get better, and then another setback. He was once the life of the party among his friends; big man on campus at his first elementary school. Now his self esteem has disappeared."
She opened a P.O. box, figuring she'd get a few. Instead, she got thousands. And a month later, they're still pouring in, from places as far away as Antarctica.
"It has restored my faith in humanity," she told CBS.
"I was focused on the bad side of the people, like the bullies," Noah added. "Then I realized there are caring people out there that can be my friends."
A website—LettersForNoah.com—continues to collect messages of support:
Bullied, depressed, and unsure what else to do, Noah planned to end his life on his 13th birthday. He is getting help, but we would like to shower him with letters of encouragement as he makes his journey to recovery.
Earlier this month, Karen Brocklebank testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee backing the Cyberbullying Prevention Act.
"Cyberbullying is not something you can just turn off," she said in support the proposed legislation. "It is another far-reaching tool in the bully's arsenal."
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