MOULTRIE, Ga. — We’ve all heard of the metaphor “the elephant in the room.” It’s an awkward situation or circumstance that we usually try to avoid talking about. Moultrian Michelle Cope of The Yellow Elephant is seeking to make one particular “elephant in the room” disappear.
The Yellow Elephant is a nonprofit campaign founded by Cope in October of 2015 with the sole purposes of educating, encouraging and supporting individuals dealing with mental illnesses and to dissipate the stigma of mental illness and suicide.
Since its formation it has garnered attention from the community, earning a sponsor in Moultrie Cinema for this year’s Cinema for a Cause event, as well as shout-outs from the cast of the television show “A Million Little Things.”
The Yellow Elephant is inviting the residents of Moultrie, Valdosta, Cordele and even servicemen at the Royal Air Force base in Mildenhall in the United Kingdom to join in their movement by attending the Be the Light Night event held on Sept. 10. The event will be held concurrently in each city from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and will have appearances by organizations such as Celebrate Recovery from Temple Baptist Church and other local and statewide nonprofit organizations, as well as community speakers and a candlelight vigil to round out the evening.
“This is our second annual event,” said Cope. “September 10th is National Suicide Prevention Day, and we needed to raise awareness on this day. Also, September is worldwide Suicide Prevention Month, so I thought why not have a candlelight vigil and a prayer tent and get the community together to support one another?”
Community speakers Hannah Norman and Lynda Allen will also be attending, says Cope.
“It’s an-all over spectrum of people who have been affected,” said Cope of the speakers. “Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 10- to 24-year-olds in the country. We needed a variety of those affected to really get the word out.”
In the Moultrie location, the event will take place at the Courthouse Square. The Valdosta event will take place at the Old Courthouse, and Cordele’s event will take place at the Crisp County High School football field. There will also be food trucks available to purchase from.
Learn more about The Yellow Elephant at: https://theyellowelephant.org/.