Bandana Project Update



The Bandana Project is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention campaign.

Sophia Pedro, Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered why so many students have neon green bandanas on their backpacks? Well, everyone has a different personal reason for wearing one, but the bandana signifies someone who is an advocate and resource for mental health and has taken the Bandana Project pledge. The Bandana Project is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention campaign that is a prominent resource at more than 40 colleges and universities around the country. Anyone can take the pledge and “mark themselves” with a bandana as a resource for anyone struggling. 


Villanova’s chapter of The Bandana Project was brought to campus last year by juniors Dayna Deakin, Anna Darling and Hannah Starner, and officially became a student organization in Nov. 2021. In the spring of 2021, before becoming an organization, The Bandana Project had several successful bandana distributions, gaining the support and membership of more than 1,300 University students. 


“In order to grow our impact on campus we went through the process of becoming a student organization through the Office of Student Involvement, which included creating a mission statement, proposal, constitution and bylaws,” said Deakin, the chapter president.


With its new status as an official organization, it has been able to expand its administrative positions and create an executive board to assist in growing the organization and its impact on campus. Along with the five new executive board positions, it has also created a number of skill-focused groups for event planning, awareness and community building, so more students are able to be involved in making the changes it has been wanting to see. 


“A major focus for this semester and upcoming semesters is growing peer support on campus and making sure students have a safe space to talk about mental health,” Deakin added.


Additionally, with the help of the new executive board and skill-focused groups, hosting events and speakers on campus that are more visual and collaborating with other clubs and organizations will be easier and more efficient. Executive members are particularly interested and hopeful to collaborate with multicultural organizations on campus to highlight the different ways people of various backgrounds struggle with mental health. This is one of the things Deakin is most excited for this semester. 


Outreach Coordinator, Anna Darling, is also excited “to collaborate with The Office of Student Life and The Counseling Center to enact purposeful and permanent change for future generations of students.”


In the wake of the pandemic, an emphasis on mental health resources and its de-stigmatization is necessary and being called for, which is exactly the mission of The Bandana Project. Between the 1,300 students that took the pledge, the significant interest in their executive board and the tons of emails it receives every day from eager students wanting to get involved, The Bandana Project has a bright future on this campus.


When asked what she believes and hopes the future of this organization is at the University, Deakin said that she believes “in a short amount of time we can work to create a community of support for those struggling and allow everyone to feel comfortable seeking help.” 


Those interested in the University chapter of The Bandana Project, mental health advocacy and enacting change should visit their Instagram page @bandana.project.nova or email the organization at [email protected]. There are numerous levels and commitments of involvement within the organization and everyone is welcome. Be on the lookout for the next General Body Meeting if interested.


Thanks to the Bandana Project, students don’t have to seek support to feel supported, especially now on this campus.