Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to ask for help. With this in mind, Catskill High’s student-led Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Team hosted suicide awareness and prevention sessions for all CHS students during physical education classes on December 7 and 8.
Yellow Ribbon team members planned and implemented the entire event, which they designed to help spread the positive message that suicide is preventable and help is always available.
“I think it’s important that we talk about it more,” explained team member Grace Sullivan, who is a senior at CHS. “We are doing this to end mental health stigma so people are more comfortable talking about their mental health problems.”
Team members led their peers through several stations that included a life-sized board game, a display of Lifekeeper Memory Quilts from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and a brainstorming session where students wrote down coping skills and right steps one can take to wellness. Team members also talked about the warning signs of suicide and what everyone can do to help someone in crisis. As part of this discussion, they gave each student a yellow ribbon lifeline card that can be handed to any other person to ask for help – without ever having to say a word.
Yellow Ribbon Team members are all volunteers and undertook specialized training prior to hosting these sessions. They will be leading similar sessions for all students at CMS this spring.