Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program is a community based program primarily developed to address youth/teen suicide through public awareness campaigns, education and training. The program is designed to help communities identify resources and to develope a plan of action. We educate adults in BE-A-Link suicide prevention gatekeeper training and youth with the ASK 4 Help suicide prevention lifeskills training. Both trainings teach the warning signs for suicide, risk factors and symptoms of depression. Knowing these factors can help lead to early intervention and help save lives.
Yellow Ribbon started in response to the heartfelt pleas of family and friends after the death of Mike Emme, founders Dar and Dale Emme's son, in 1994. Words of help and hope that his family said, were put on bright yellow paper and shared with teens at Mike's services. Teens shared the messages locally and began to mail them to friends and family. Within three weeks, word came of a girl saved after she asked for help using this bright yellow message, the hallmark of the program - the Ask 4 Help Card. From that day in 1994 the program has grown international.
The Brown County Yellow Ribbon began in 1997, first as the New Ulm Yellow Ribbon Program and as our chapter grew we became the Brown County Yellow Ribbon. We do presentations in schools throughout the county providing training to staff and students, hand out our Yellow Ribbon Ask 4 Help cards and encourage discussion about suicide prevention. Our organization also attends health fairs and various community events to hand out information on suicide, suicide prevention, depression and mental health conditions. Every fall we host a Walk of Hope event in Sleepy Eye. This event is to support families and friends of those who lost to suicide. The event is open to the public and is encouraged for people of all ages.