Back to Main Page

How to start the Yellow Ribbon Program® in your area

A.  Order cards and other information from the foundation.

B.  Distribute cards and information to youth!

  1. Plan an "official launch" of the program and have a speaker from the Foundation do presentations to the school students and teachers. Follow-up should also be done in classrooms after the presentation. Talk to the schools about putting yellow ribbon cards and information in student's handbooks and/or orientation books each year after the official launch has been done.
  2. Make cards available by easy access. Place cards in baskets/display holders in schools, churches, youth centers, medical offices, libraries, everywhere! This ensures youth can get a free card without embarrassment or needing to ask for them. Make sure youth know the cards are free by posting signs.
  3. Set a date for meetings and assemblies for presentations to youth, teachers, parents, clergy, police — anyone appropriate for this program. These meetings should be arranged for the same time as the official launch. Speakers are available through the Canadian office of the Foundation.
  4. Contact schools, churches and youth centers and groups with introduction flyers and a list of activities. Let people know you are starting this program. Create a local newsletter — feedback has shown that youth want to contribute and will help get out the word. (Many of our best articles are from youth!)
  5. Tie yellow ribbons on trees, poles, building entrances and doors. Also make yellow ribbons for everyone to wear. (Many fabric stores and floral shops will contribute ribbon.)
  6. Put posters in halls and on bulletin boards with information about your program.

C.  Alert adults to this life saving program!

It is vital that adults know about the program and what the cards are so they may respond appropriately upon receiving a Yellow Ribbon card or call for help. Local caregivers need to be made aware of the program and need to attend a presentation.

Call or write:

Clergy, Doctors, therapists, local newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations. Get in touch with local service organizations (Kiwanas, Rotary, Kinsmen for example.) Get these people to help with the official launch.

Submit stories and announcements about your "Suicide Awareness and Prevention" events in local papers, company fliers, church bulletins, TV and radio. Invite to local media to a presentation.

Contact businesses and organizations for monetary and 'in-kind' donations. (Monetary donations for speakers and program expenses, in-kind donations for printing of flyers — brochures, ribbon, poster board, etc.). Ask corporations to sponsor the program for specific youth centers or clubs.

Contact local law enforcement and fire departments so they will be aware of the program, to assist when they can and to attend events.

Communicate with your friends — ask them to help with this program. People are becoming more aware of the high levels of youth suicide. Many want to get involved and help but they don't know what to do or where to start.

Talk — talk — talk.

Awareness and education is vital in the fight against suicide. Become an advocate — help save precious lives! People need to know it's okay to ask for help!

Yellow Ribbon enamel pin Help promote awareness and the need of a suicide prevention program for your region. Not all regions presently have a comprehensive suicide prevention program.

D.  Wear a yellow ribbon

So that you will be recognized as someone who cares and will help. Enameled yellow ribbon pins are available for purchase from the Canadian office of the Foundation.

Teens and youth — YOU CAN HELP THIS PROGRAM!

You can get it started in your area — talk about it, ask for it — ell your schools, churches, youth centers, parents and teachers that you want to stop suicide. Teens and youth who have survived a suicide attempt relate that they really didn't want to die. They just wanted to stop the pain. Let this program be a path to find help to control the pain, to end the pain. There are so many of you in the world who can make this program happen.

Call the Canadian office of the Foundation at (780) 992-0299 with any questions and for help in getting this program started in your community. Take this paper to your school, church, youth group, etc. — it will help you present this program and tell adults about your desire to get this life saving program in your area!

Let your voices be heard — unite and save lives!

Feedback of how the program is working in your area is valuable. lease make suggestions that will help make this program more effective. Your input is important!

Gatekeeper Training Presentations Participating Schools & Organizations Links Start a Chapter Testimonials Suicide Statistics Warning Signs Canadian National Strategy Contact Us Donate LFL Store About Light for Life