Green Bandana Project, WellCAT ambassadors spread word on mental health, suicide prevention

After training, ambassadors tie a green bandana to their backpack so those seeking help know who to go to. (Courtesy photo by Kennedy Ayre)

Kansas State has partnered with the Green Bandana Project to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention. Earlier this semester, K-State WellCAT ambassadors trained to recognize the signs and work with those seeking help.

Hadley Schreiner, senior in life sciences and WellCAT ambassador, said the Green Bandana Project’s training and information were beneficial for her understanding and awareness of mental health signs and symptoms.

“One thing I’ve benefited from the training is … recognizing when people can benefit from its resources,” Schreiner said. “I like being able to start those conversations and have the resources to help those wanting to seek professional help if they need it.”

After training, ambassadors tie a green bandana to their backpack so those seeking help know who to go to.

Chris Bowman, health educator for Lafene Health Center’s health promotion department, said he was astounded by the WellCATs willingness to participate in the project and take action.

“They wanted to get on campus as soon as they could to hand [resource cards] out,” Bowman said. “That willingness to put a visual representation out there and show that they’re taking mental health seriously by tying the green bandana goes a long way. It’s a visual reference to show that K-State is becoming a mentally aware community and that we’re serious about wanting to take care of people’s mental health.”

Although many K-State students worked remotely this semester, the talk of in-person classes for the fall is generating excitement to spread the word, Kennedy Ayre, junior in life sciences and integrated health studies and WellCAT ambassador, said.

“Hopefully in the fall, when we’re all back on campus again, spreading the word on what it signifies will be a lot easier,” Ayre said. “But for now, we’ve been using social media to help spread the word on what the Green Bandana Project is.”

Ayre said the Green Bandana Project teaches participants about all the resources provided on campus.

More information about mental health and how to join the project is on Lafene’s program website, and information on WellCAT ambassador activities is on its Instagram.