In the month of September, students involved in the yellow ribbon program went around to different classes to talk to sophomores. Tracy High Senior Emma Van Scyoc participated and gave presentations to students.
“Yellow ribbon is a program where you learn about suicide prevention and how to help someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts,” Van Scyoc said.
“I found out about it through my psychology class. I believe, however, it should be an opportunity for more people than just psych students and the people lucky enough to hear about through them,” Van Scyoc said.
The presentations are given to sophomores because freshman are still adjusting to everything and junior and senior year are too late. Sophomore year is the sweet spot and the best time for the students to be given the presentation. It also ties into point break that is also sophomore year, so it’s an important time age-wise to give them the message.
“I think a lot of students take it lightly and act like it’s a joke, but I’ve had students come up and thank my partner and I for the presentation we gave the class. I definitely think it should be taken more seriously because I can almost guarantee you would never know the signs of someone with suicidal tendencies if you’re not taught,” Van Scyoc said.
The presentations teach’s students about suicide and the signs given if someone you know may be suicidal. It’s an important lesson because there is stigma around suicide and it’s a topic people prefer not to talk about.
The yellow ribbon program wants to break that stigma and get people talking. An issue this big in society can’t be ignored.
“The goal of the project is to spread awareness for suicide and how to help those in need. It also addresses the do’s and don’ts of how to handle yourself in a situation where someone you know is thinking of harming themselves,” Van Scyoc said.
At the end of the presentation they give students a yellow ribbon card and call it their lifeline. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide give that lifeline to a friend, teacher, or trusted adult. They’ll know how to help you and if they don’t they can find the resources who can.
The National Suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255.