On Friday, September 29, Piscataquis Community High school’s Positive Action Team organized the school wide planting of a yellow tulip garden. This garden is part of The Yellow Tulip Project – a movement started by Maine high school student, Julia Hansen who lost two close friends to suicide her sophomore year. The idea behind the project is to create awareness and reduce the stigma of mental illness while honoring those who have lost their mental health battle to suicide.
This garden will serve as something to look forward to after a cold Maine winter. The event was sponsored by Mayo Regional Hospital and Acadia Hospital.
Hillary Starbird, Community Outreach Coordinator at Mayo Regional Hospital along with John Keane, PCHS Principal started the student lead Positive Action Team last year. The team has grown and evolved in just one year and has done some truly amazing work. “This team is an outstanding group of kids who are working every day to make their school and community a better, more positive place to learn and live. We have worked on many, many projects throughout the past year including – suicide prevention, substance use prevention, bullying, mental health stigma reduction, community integration, and the list goes on. It’s refreshing to see them working so hard and the difference they have made in just over a year” – said Hillary Starbird.
Each student who planted a bulb filled out a small circle with something that made them hopeful. The circles are displayed within the school on the bulletin board for all to see and read.
“We hope when people see what makes others hopeful it will inspire them to think more positively about tomorrow and also serve as a reminder, there is always hope” said Starbird.