There are very few animals that have such a strong connect to humans quite like dogs do. If you’re already a dog owner, than you know all too well that if you have a day where you’re feeling sick, or sad, your dog knows, and they’ll stop at nothing to comfort you in your time of illness. With the impact that the recent tragic events in Las Vegas have sparked in regards to the topic of mental health, it’s been proven without question, that millions of people living with anxiety, depression, or even suicidal tendencies have found tremendous strength and security in living with a dog, and the Iowa State Police Department has that in mind.
The police are teaming up with the National Alliance of Mental Illness student organization to provide exposure about the Green Bandana Project. The organization’s incredibly adorable mascot, “Oliver”, (who happens to be the cutest little husky puppy around) is used to connect with the public and hand out cards and bandanas to support those with mental illness. The project has a main goal to raise awareness, and lower the stigmas that encompass mental illness as a whole.
Iowa State Daily reported that many students at the local state campus are getting onboard, tying their green bandanas to their backpacks and taking a stand to support their peers on campus. The more green bandanas you see, the more confidence you have as someone possibly living with any form of mental stress. Often, when you think of those words “mental illness”, we tend to magnetize that as a stigma, or generalization, versus seeing it for the many, many illnesses that can fall under that umbrella. One could place symptoms such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression, or even what you may consider an irrational fear of spiders into that category “mental illness”.
It certainly seems to stand for a variety of different mental ailments depending on who you ask, but ultimately, those who are living with a battle going on internally in their mind certainly deserve the support of the public around them to feel at ease as much as possible. The more mental illness is openly talked about, and accepted, the easier it will become for those living with any form of it to get treatment and not feel any unnecessary belting or shame in doing so. Millions of people have a form of it, and you could very well be capable of saving someone’s life just by doing something as simple as showing your support in an open fashion, much like these wonderful green bananas are doing in the Iowa area!