Students and staff at Riverhead High School chalked messages of support and love on the walkways outside the school for 'P.S. I Love You Day' Friday. Photo: Alek Lewis

Students and staff at Riverhead High School donned purple and adorned school grounds with messages of support and love Friday during the school’s annual “P.S. I Love You Day” event.

“P.S. I Love You Day” is held on the second Friday of February to combat bullying and support mental health awareness and suicide prevention. The day was created by Brooke and Jaimie DiPalma, who started the day after their father died by suicide in 2010. 

Riverhead High School celebrated “P.S. I Love You Day” this year with its “Chalk the Walk” event. Students covered the school’s walkways with chalk art and uplifting messages. The Riverhead Middle School joined in the event this year, too.

Jennifer Boese, the high school guidance counselor who started the “Chalk the Walk” event in 2022, said the celebration shows students that they are supported in the school. 

“Especially as a school counselor, I see every day, all day, all the things that kids are going through, not just inside, but externally. And most of the time it’s undetected,” Boese said. “So it’s just to break the stigma on mental health, that everybody is going through something, whether you know it or not, and that it’s okay to ask for help. It really is.”

High school students also held a special livestream during the event showcasing how students were celebrating P.S. I Love You Day. A recording of the broadcast is available on the school district’s YouTube channel.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Alek Lewis.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: alek@riverheadlocal.com