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An Update from The Green Bandana Team

Green Bandana Project

The purpose of The Green Bandana Project is to spread awareness of resources for those with mental health-related needs.  Students, Faculty, and Staff who have a Green Bandana on their backpack or in their office have completed the 1-hour training.  The Green Bandana signifies they are a safe person to approach regarding mental health-related concerns and know where to find help.  The program promotes a stigma-free and supportive environment.  

While we are not able to meet in-person for Green Bandana trainings at this time, we are still able to connect and make a difference in the lives of others!  Below are tips regarding how to best care for others and self-care during this uncertain time, as well as current mental health resources that are available. 


DO:  Reach out to friends, family, roommates, coworkers to see how they are doing. DO NOT:  Assume they are okay. 
DO:  Be proactive.  Ask for clarification when behaviors and statements are concerning. 
 
What to look for:  Withdrawing from others, lack of motivation and energy, changes in appetite and sleep, comments like “I just can’t take it anymore” or “I wish I could sleep forever.”   
 
Ask:  What do you mean when you say you just can’t take it anymore or you wish you could sleep forever?   
 
Acknowledge what you are observing:  You don’t seem like yourself.  You seem really sad lately.  I can tell you don’t have much energy and it’s hard for you to get out of bed. 
DO NOT:  Avoid asking about concerning comments or pretend everything is fine when it doesn’t seem like it is. 
DO:  Ask what the person needs or how you can help.  If they can’t identify how you can help, think about ways you can lighten their load or brighten their day (offer to get groceries for them or send a card or flowers). DO NOT:  Assume checking in with them once is enough.  It’s important to follow-up to show them you care, you are still there, and you are willing to help. 
DO:  Be willing to ask the tough questions if concerning comments are made and the conversation goes in this direction. 
 
Ask:
Are you having thoughts of suicide? 
      Are you thinking of taking your life? 
      Do you have a plan? 
DO NOT:  Ask these questions with dread, judgment, or threaten or shame them if they say yes. 
DO:  Offer to get the person help.  If the person is suicidal you can call the Foundation 2 Mobile Crisis Outreach Line  
(319 -362-2174) or 911.  If the person is not suicidal share the list of resources below. 
DO NOT:  Leave an actively suicidal person alone or get off the phone with them until they have been connected with the appropriate support. 

Green Bandana Project

We are most helpful to others when we are mentally and physically well ourselves.  Below are some self-care tips to make sure YOU continue to stay well. 

Self-Care Tips: 

Talk with someone you trust when you find yourself struggling and in need of support. 

-Exercise (go for a walk, bike ride, do yoga via Zoom).   

-Develop a new skill or master a current skill. 

-Make a list of what you can control. 

-Connect with others through Facetime, Zoom, etc. 

-Get outside every day. 

-Draw or Color. 

-Read. 

-Make a gratitude list. 

-Watch a movie. 

-Journal. 

-Take care of yourself physically and emotionally.  Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water, eat healthy and balanced meals. 

-Cultivate self-compassion and be kind to yourself. 

-Limit exposure to news or social media on the Coronavirus. 


Green Bandana Project

Resources: 

Crisis Lines available 24/7: 

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
    • 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line
    • Text HOME to 741741 anywhere in the US, 24/7
  • CR: Foundation 2 Crisis Line and Mobile Crisis Outreach 
    • 1-800-332-4224 – Local resource in Cedar Rapids 
  • IC: Johnson County Crisis Center 
    • 1-855-325-4296 – Crisis Line 
    • 1-855-800-1239 – Mobile Crisis Outreach Program 

Kirkwood and Community Resources: 

  • Kirkwood Student Assistance Team (can connect you with mental health and a variety of other resources) 
  • Virtual Support Group for Kirkwood Students – Tanager Place 
  • Tanager Place – Offering short-term, solution focused and supportive teletherapy services to any individual in need 
    • https://www.tanagerplace.org 
  • Olson Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic – Offering Telehealth Therapy Sessions   
    • https://www.olsonmftclinic.com 

You are valued, seen, and appreciated.  Take care and stay tuned for more information this fall. 

– The Green Bandana Team
Image courtesy of Green Bandana Project

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