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Green Bandana Project advocates for mental health awareness 


The mental health crisis in the United States hit Viterbo hard in the past year as the tragic deaths of two students has left the community looking for answers. The Psychology Club hopes to spread awareness for mental health and destigmatize the subject. 


Kaitlyn Zunker and Lexi Oestreich are leaders of the Psychology Club and have been promoting an annual community project that is designed to bring students together combat   mental illness. Their Green Bandana Project provides people who are struggling with safe people to talk to.

There were many training video sessions for people to receive their bandanas. Interested students can take a training course and are rewarded with a green bandana that signifies that person as safe to talk to. Students with a green bandana can help direct people to counselling services or just be a friend.   

Anyone feeling justifiably nervous about approaching students with a green bandana are acknowledged by Zunker: “Everyone who participated in the Green Bandana Project wants to be a person for this… So, if people are nervous about going up to these people, know that they want to do it.” 


Viterbo’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee was also made aware of the project, and many athletes have become involved. Oestreich says, “Athletes deal with a lot of mental health issues in general.”  


Zunker follows up, “Mental health is something that has been growing in the athletic setting and has become more of a well-known issue.” 


The semester is ending, and bandanas distributed through the Psychology Club have slowed down. Zunker says, “This might be the only time we’re putting it on campus this year. We haven’t talked about doing it again next semester.”  


However, Zunker clarifies, “If people are interested in it, we would love to spread it more on campus.” 


There will likely be more events in the future as the Psychology Club continues developing, Oestreich adds, “Normally we do it every year… so if you didn’t do it this year, that’s okay.” 


There is hope within the community that this project will help bring students together. “It’s a really great cause and a really great way to connect as a student body as well,” Zunker says.  Students who want to learn more about the Green Bandana Project can contact the Psychology Club through the QR code.  

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Noah Nelson, Editor
I’m the Editor for the Lumen. My major is Sports Management and Leadership with an English Writing minor, and I also compete for the Men’s Golf team.
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