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OUr Mental Health students to form Bandana Project chapter to promote suicide prevention awareness

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An OU flag in front of the Bizzell Memorial Library on July 8, 2020.

OU students from OUr Mental Health will help lead a project to implement mental health awareness and suicide prevention through an organization called the Bandana Project, which will host an informational Zoom session Tuesday.

The Bandana Project first began at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus in 2016, according to the Bandana Project start up guide. Since then, the project has aimed to uplift and support mental health in members and surrounding communities by providing aid and accessibility to all mental health concerns.

The project starts with students tying lime green bandanas on themselves or their backpack, signifying they’re a safe person to consult regarding suicide and mental health issues. The person with the bandana will carry resource cards with hotlines that students can connect to upon request.

According to OUr Mental Health representative and newly elected Bandana Project ambassador, Quinn Bunnag, the vision of the Bandana project is to encourage students to “feel empowered, encouraged, and supported” in mental health concerns.

One of the projects the Bandana Project will play a role in, according to Bunnag, is an annual fundraising event during mental health awareness month. Bunnag said there are not many details on this even yet, but they hope it will inspire other Universities to join the Bandana Project.

“Philanthropy is something I've always been passionate about, and with everything going on in the world (this) past year, we need to uplift each other as much as possible,” Bunnag said in an email to the Daily. “Hopefully, the other bandana project chapters will follow suit with their own unique events that represent their university.”

According to an email sent to the Daily, OUr Mental Health will be hosting a Zoom meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. where the Bandana Project team will talk with their members, OU Health Services and Student Affairs to discuss how the university should go forward with this project next semester.

Katie Hallum is a journalism and international area studies double major who joined The Daily's news desk in spring 2021. Katie is a Tahlequah, Oklahoma native and citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

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