The week of April 28 to May 2 was Yellow Ribbon Week.  The peer leaders reached out to the student body in order to spread awareness on suicide and to further prevent it.

“The goal of Yellow Ribbon Week is to raise awareness about the lives that are lost due to suicide and to educate students about the warning signs and resources available to them if they or someone they know needs help.  This year, Peer Leaders combined efforts with other school organizations including Student Council and GSA to promote their message,” Peer Leaders advisor Mrs. Jenna Cavadas said.

Yellow Ribbon Week has been a national campaign that started in 1995 that reached North in 2010.  At North, various methods were used to promote this campaign.

In the mornings every day during this week, the peer leaders made announcements and posted facts in the hallway to spread awareness.  During lunch, a table was set up in the main hallway to have students write down what they live for on a paper ribbon; afterwards, students received a real ribbon and contact information with helplines.  The peer leaders also filmed a video featuring various people in the student body and faculty saying what they live for; this video was shown at the end of the week.

For each day of the week, students wore different colors of clothing to represent different issues.  Students wore blue on Monday for school spirit; red on Tuesday for anti-bullying; green on Wednesday for Attitudes in Reverse, or AIR, representing mental illness; purple on Thursday for LGBT suicide awareness; and yellow on Friday for suicide awareness and prevention.

The several changes implemented this year have been a success.  “There are no words to describe how incredible it feels to be involved in something so important as Yellow Ribbon Week,” senior peer leader Caroline Sharp said.

This week gave an opportunity for people struggling with depression to get support.  “People who are going through depression or have had suicidal thoughts aren’t publicly broadcasting the fact that they’ve been through it, and I think it’s important that they know that there is a community of people who support them and are there for them,” Sharp said.

The student body was also encouraged to have an optimistic mindset because of the lessons learned about suicide and how they can help.  “I think this week really helped the student body realize the importance of suicide awareness,” sophomore peer leader Zoe Zhuang said.  “I think the school really reacted positively to our efforts throughout the week, and it was really great to see all the people participating by wearing the symbolic colors!”

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