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Hope is in full bloom at CEMS!
Hope is in full bloom at CEMS!
Jill Young
Friday, May 08, 2020

The CEMS Hope Garden is in full bloom! 

Check out the video link: 

Cape Elizabeth Middle School was once again excited to partner with The Yellow Tulip Project (YTP), as part of our mental health programming, when we celebrated our second Hope Day last Fall on World Mental Health Day. All CEMS students and staff took part in planting a Hope Garden and spreading awareness surrounding mental health and wellness. The "You Will Be Found…@ CEMS" mental health programming is funded through The Thompson Family Mental Health and Wellness Initiative Fund and the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation (CEEF).

Our Hope Garden is located in a raised bed at the front entrance of the Middle School. Each student and staff member planted a yellow tulip bulb and placed a wood craft stick as a marker in the ground next to their bulb with their personal message of hope. These markers also have a green ribbon attached to represent World Mental Health Day. Our Hope Garden not only represents awareness and hope, but also the culture we are working to create in our school, a culture that recognizes no one is immune to mental illness. Maine has the highest percentage of children with mental health disorders. A study in JAMA Pediatrics finds about 1 in 4 children in Maine has at least one mental health disorder, like depression, anxiety, or ADHD. That is why we are focusing on the importance of wellness, knowledge of resources, and a community that embraces supporting one another while smashing the stigma


After Yellow Tulip Project founder Julia Hansen lost two close friends

to suicide during her sophomore year in high school, she knew that she wanted to step into action; she wanted to promote awareness of mental illness in adolescents and young adults and help others know that they don’t need to suffer alone — and that hope and help is out there for them.

Why Yellow Tulips? The yellow tulip represents happiness and hope. Yellow was one friend’s favorite color, and the tulip was the other’s favorite flower.

This project honors their memory and, through it, we want everyone to know that the darkest places and toughest times don’t last forever and do get better. And to believe that there truly is hope, love, people and services there to help.

YTP Goals:

To smash the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

Mental illness is a silent epidemic that affects one in every five people worldwide. We want young adults to be able to break out of this silence and to talk about mental illness, not suffer alone or feel ashamed. We want everyone to know that there is a way to get help and that things can and will change. We do this through outreach and advocacy work, and by coming together as a community to talk openly about mental illness in the same way that we talk about any physical illness. 

Planting Yellow Tulip Hope Gardens

Planting a Hope Garden is a communal effort, and a way of bringing people together to talk about mental health and to work toward smashing the stigma, while planting beautiful symbols of hope.