PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A student at Casco Bay High School is using tulips in an effort to raise awareness about mental health and depression.
Julia Hansen is in her first year at the Portland school, but the junior is already making a difference. Students and teachers gathered outside of the school's entrance to help her plant a garden of tulips as part of the Yellow Tulip Project. A movement she started in the spring after her best friends, Payton Sullivan and Beata Vest, committed suicide.
"Just a reminder that even in the darkest of places, hope really does happen and just to continue to smash the stigma of mental illness," said Hansen.
So far there's been gardens planted in Portland's Lincoln Park as well as Casco Bay High School. A combination of what was Sullivan's favorite color and Beata's favorite flower.
"A great opportunity for us to involve students in her campaign and to involve students from both schools and to support her as a new member of our community," said Derek Pierce, principal at Casco Bay High School.
According to Hansen, Bowdoin College and Southern Maine Community College have both expressed interest in planting Yellow Tulip Project gardens on their campuses as well.