Don't tell your kids this, but back-to-school season is nearly upon us. In the coming days and weeks, we'll all go back to school shopping and get our kids ready for another school year. But sometimes school is the last place your child wants to be. That is one reason that dozens of students in the Marion Independent School District will be wearing green this upcoming school year.

What do we mean when we say wearing green? More specifically green bandanas. KCRG reports that it is called the Green Bandana Project. It originated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison back in 2016. The green bandana signifies that a person has gone through training and is qualified to talk to others about mental health issues and suicide. According to a University of Iowa study, one in thirteen high school students has attempted suicide.

According to KCRG, 87 high school students at Marion along with 26 students at Vernon Middle School have green bandanas on them, showing fellow students that if they need to talk, they're there to help. Students can then help connect their peers with a staff member. Studies have shown that students are more likely to talk to a fellow student first. KCRG reports that the project has been going on at Marion for several years but the need for it grew during and after the pandemic.

Michelle Wilson, a social worker for the Marion Independent School District, told KCRG that "the percentage of students who have trouble with anxiety and depression is very high." Teachers say that it is encouraging to look down a hallway at school and see so many green bandanas on backpacks.


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