The program began in 1994 in response to heartfelt pleas from teens and adults after the death of a friend and loved one, Mike Emme (17). Words said by his family – “please don’t do this, please talk to someone” were put on bright yellow paper along with phone numbers of who to call to get help. Teens pinned yellow ribbons on 500 slips of those yellow papers for his services and at the end, all were gone. Teens began to mail them everywhere to friends and loved ones. Within three weeks came word of a girl who got help when she gave her yellow message* she had received in the mail to her teacher and received help. The Ripple Effect had begun – a bright yellow bridge that connects those in need to those who help.
* The messages (those yellow slips of paper) became the hallmark of the program – the Ask 4 Help!® Card.
Yellow became the symbol of the program when the teens began bringing us tons of yellow flowers and started tying yellow ribbons in their hair, pinning them on their clothes/hats on the day Mike died, in memory of Mike and his cherished yellow 1968 Ford Mustang. He helped so many people with that car.
You can also read how it all started in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Third Serving (1997) and Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul (2000).
THE RIPPLE EFFECT… what came next, see the "What We Do" page.
The Light for Life Foundation Int’l/Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program® is dedicated to preventing suicide and attempts by Making Suicide Prevention Accessible to Everyone and Removing Barriers to Help.
We are members of communities across this country/world who are empowering people (of all ages) to raise awareness about and to prevent youth/teen suicide. We work to coordinate appropriate education, training and collaboration with local and national resources to build sustainable suicide prevention programs.
What is the story behind Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program®? Find out here in our introduction video.
In Loving Memory Of Mike Emme
The Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program® was founded in 1994 by the parents and friends of a bright, funny, loving teen, Mike Emme, who took his life when he did not know the words to say, or how to let someone know he was in trouble and needed help.
Co-Founders -Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program® , Light For Life Fnd. Int’l & serve as Executive and Deputy Directors.
Lived Experience / Survivors, lost son, Michael Emme in 1994
Becca is a lead trainer for the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program® and spoken to thousands of people, adults and youth alike; Schools, Churches, Service Organizations, EMS, Mental Health Organizations and many more.
Program Supervisor for Community Base Services, Compass Behavior Health, Dodge City, KS 67801
Chair of the Board of Directors of the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program / Light for Life Foundation International
Rhiannon has been involved with Yellow Ribbon since she was a Junior in Dodge City High School. She joined the group TALC (Talk, Acknowledge, Listen, Care) in 2017 and has been actively involved since. Rhiannon has designed shirts, and hosted a fundraiser with the local indoor football team, and at a local business, to get donations and s
Rhiannon has been involved with Yellow Ribbon since she was a Junior in Dodge City High School. She joined the group TALC (Talk, Acknowledge, Listen, Care) in 2017 and has been actively involved since. Rhiannon has designed shirts, and hosted a fundraiser with the local indoor football team, and at a local business, to get donations and spread the message of Yellow Ribbon. She became President of the International Youth Council for Yellow Ribbon in 2021.
The Yellow Ribbon International Board are passionate about Making Suicide Prevention Accessible to Everyone.
Do you have a question or comment about our mission? Contact us today!
Tuesday, December 5, is easily the best day to give!
Donate to Yellow Ribbon International for Colorado Gives Day!
Click the button below to visit the Colorado Gives website and donate to the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program®!