April 10, 2024

NDSU program promotes mental health

NDSU cares about creating a supportive community that meets the needs of students through a diverse group of resources and services. The NDSU Green Bandana Project is an example of a program that advocates for the well-being of students by bringing awareness to mental health. 

“The Green Bandana Project is a program driven by student volunteers dedicated to preventing suicide by promoting help-seeking behavior and increasing awareness of vital suicide prevention and mental health resources,” said Kennedy Copiskey, the student coordinator for the NDSU Green Bandana Project. “On a college campus this is especially important because a lot of these students are away from their families and support systems for the first time.”

Students, faculty and staff can participate in the project by attending a training session generally held once a month in various locations around campus. The training sessions entail a variety of tips, stories, resources and a case study that educates participants on mental health awareness and how they can assist those reaching out for help.  

“The Green Bandana Project teaches people to be the bridge between somebody who needs help and somebody who can give help,” Copiskey said.

Once participants complete the training, they receive a green bandana as a silent sign of solidarity to let others now they are there to support them. 

“If you need help, all you need to do is find somebody with a green bandana on their backpack. Tell them a little bit about what’s going on so they can send you to the right place,” Copiskey said. “Whether that’s walking into the Counseling Center, helping you make an appointment at the Student Health Center, whatever it is, somebody that has a green bandana is trained to help you find a resource.”

While participants are only required to complete one training session, the Counseling Center offers an additional training session that centers on hard conversations and how to have them. In addition to training, Copiskey said other events and collaborations are also held throughout the academic year. 

The Green Bandana Project, which has chapters on college campuses across the country, was first brought to NDSU in 2019 by a pair of NDSU graduates. Copiskey, a first-year pharmacy student from Lino Lakes, Minnesota, took over the coordinator role in the fall of 2023. 

Since 2019, Copiskey said over 2,000 students, faculty and staff have been trained, with 96% of those participants saying they’ve used the training in some form.

“I do think that there is a strong community for mental health help at NDSU and this project definitely facilitates that. It brings awareness that there are people out here who need help and there are people who will help you get help,” she said.

Apply today to join the supportive community on campus or schedule a visit to see what NDSU has to offer.  

Start your NDSU experience by completing your application.