Yellow Ribbon RSO helps students open up about suicide prevention
It’s tough to think about suicide.
Preventing this issue is important to the registered student organization Yellow Ribbon who work to lower the suicide rate.
“(Our mission) is to educate and spread suicide awareness to as many people as we can,” Kalamazoo senior Kelsey Bourbeau said.
As the Yellow Ribbon president, Bourbeau said helping spread suicide prevention is a mighty task, but she has dedicated students alongside her to help.
Detroit junior Tamika Hawkins said she tries to build a sense of community with members.
The Yellow Ribbon RSO was created in the spring of 2012.
“We had our first meeting this semester and we had over 60 people come, and that is a big accomplishment in itself,” Bourbeau said. “We were also able to train our executive board members how to teach others how to recognize the signs of suicide. And that’s really how we are going to decrease the number of suicides on campus and really decrease the rate in general.”
Hawkins said she enjoys the open atmosphere.
“I love that we can share stories and not worry about being judged,” Hawkins said. “Everything stays in a quiet and comfortable circle. Our members really want to save lives and help out whenever we need them to.”
As for the future, she said things are looking very positive for the RSO.
“We will be putting on educational events about suicide prevention. Next week is our suicide prevention week, where we will be having two guest speakers coming in to teach people about suicide and how to just live a healthier life,” Bourbeau said. “Then we do meetings every other week where we have additional education that talk about mental health and how to recognize the signs of suicide.”
Linwood senior Bre Tacey said she wants Yellow Ribbon to be well-known on campus.
“If anyone is feeling suicidal or knows someone that is having such thoughts, they can count on Yellow Ribbon as a resource for help,” Tacey said. “Also, in addition to the great events planned for Yellow Ribbon week, I am working on a 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament and a 5k walk/run.”
Hawkins said she expects the group to learn the language of suicide.
“Making our members more aware will help CMU and eventually the world,” she said. ”I want to see people getting the word out there that people are not alone and that its really OK to ask for help.”
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