Sunflowers support CCHS students

Savannah Dupper, Spiritual Life Editor

To raise awareness about suicide and mental health during Suicide Prevention Week, Cathedral Catholic High School students are spreading love this week on campus by distributing sunflowers to community members.

“I love giving the sunflowers out because it puts a smile on everyone’s faces,” Dons For Life member Emily Rotunda ‘20 said. “It is definitely helping to create more positivity on campus.”

Dons For Life club, a group of student advocates for the preservation of human life, and the Peers Living United in Solidarity club (PLUS), a gathering of students dedicated to equality, are distributing the yellow floral gifts during lunch as a way to support fellow students.

A phototropic species, the sunflower moves its blooms to face the sun as it grows. Scientists from the University of California Davis found that sunflowers have a similar circadian rhythm or internal clock as that of humans.

Developing sunflowers are nearly always turned toward the sun at dawn and dusk.

“The sunflowers are so important because they remind the students on campus that their lives have meaning,” Dons For Life member Marisa Mistica ‘20 said. “That is the message we really want to get across.”

The seeking of light and brilliant color unique to sunflowers has led them to become an important symbol of positivity, a popular message among suicide prevention organizations such as Yellow Ribbon, a foundation partnering with CCHS this week.

Yellow Ribbon, a foundation dedicated to suicide prevention, uses the color yellow to honor Mike Emme, a teen who committed suicide and whose parents later founded the organization. The color also symbolizes a bridge of connection between those people struggling with mental illness.

“It’s important to spread love and joy for suicide prevention,” Mistica said. “Just a small act of kindness can really brighten someone’s day.”