The Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench unveiled its iconic yellow bench and #YellowIsForHello student mental health campaign at Niagara College this week, which makes it the first of its kind dedicated to a Canadian college.

This is the third such unveiling this year. Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario was the first university to receive the dedication and the first to be unveiled a secondary school occurred at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School in Oakville, ON shortly thereafter. We’re thrilled to add Niagara College to these firsts. In the months and

We’re thrilled to add Niagara College to these firsts. In the months and year ahead this program will be unveiled at other Canadian colleges including Humber College and Centennial College.

#YellowIsForHello | The Friendship Bench

Students and faculty gathered for The Friendship Bench unveiling at Niagara College’s main campus.

#YellowIsForHello | The Friendship Bench | Niagara College

Volunteers hand out #YellowIsForHello materials to students and visitors before the unveiling, courtesy of the Santing Family

#YellowIsForHello | The Friendship Bench | Niagara College

Sam Fiorella dedicates The Friendship Bench to Niagara College in tribute to Tyler Santing.

#YellowIsForHello | The Friendship Bench | Niagara College

Shane Malcolm, President of the Student Council shares some inspiration before the dedication.

#YellowIsForHello | The Friendship Bench | Niagara College

Rick and Sharon Santing unveil The Friendship Bench.

This first Friendship Bench to be dedicated to a Canadian college was donated in tribute to Tyler Santing, a student at Niagara College who died by suicide a year ago.

Tyler’s family and friends spearheaded a fundraising campaign in order to provide the college with a permanent and positive reminder that mental health is an important topic of discussion for students and something to be constantly vigilant of.

Read more about Tyler’s tribute here.

The college provided a buffet lunch for all those in attendance in hopes that the conversation started during the unveiling would continue. Students took the opportunity to chat with friends, make new friends, and connect with the college’s mental health counsellors who were all on site for the event.

#YellowIsForHello | The Friendship Bench | Niagara College

Students were eager to sit on the bench after the dedication.

The Student Government surprised us all by unveiling a special addition to the college’s mental health awareness effort: The Yellow Wall! This wall plaque was created to encourage students to leave and take message of hope, love, and support.

Students who wish to leave positive messages to their peers can do so by adding a Post-It Note with the message on the wall. Students are free to browse the messages and take one if one speaks to them. This exchange and dialogue is exactly what The Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench hopes to inspire!

#YellowIsForHello | The Friendship Bench | Niagara College

The Wall of Yellow, inspiring peer-to-peer conversation and support.

Thank you Niagara College for allowing us to join your community. Special thanks to the Santing family for making this possible in memory of your tremendous Tyler.