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Hope squad

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No young person suffers in silence. No lives are lost to suicide.

what is hope squad?

Hope Squad is a peer-to-peer, evidence-based program that works within a school to reduce the stigma around mental health and suicide. Hope Squad members are trained to identify at-risk students, provide friendship and seek help from an adult.

students

The Hope Squad program contains curriculum that utilizes QPR techniques, emphasizes suicide prevention fundamentals, self-care, and anti-bullying practices. The purpose of the curriculum is to create a common knowledge and understanding within the school community and does not replace the role of school counselors.

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Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10-19 years old. Most suicides are preventable and youth who are contemplating frequently give warning signs. Hope Squads are composed of a group of students who were nominated by peers that are good listeners and are caring individuals who work with local mental agencies.

Students in Hope Squads are taught by school counselors and advisors on how to recognize warning signs. In addition, Hope Squad members are trained on how to talk about suicide prevention to the whole school during Hope week.

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Learn more about the virtual Hope Squad educator forum

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WHY HOPE SQUAD

45,000 hope squad trainees

SINCE THE INCEPTION OF HOPE SQUAD WE HAVE TRAINED THIS NUMBER LF PEOPLE.

WE REDUCE THE STIGMA

AND IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION

HOPE SQUAD SCHOOLS HAVE LESS SUICIDE-RELATED STIGMA THAN NON-HOPE SQUAD SCHOOLS

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NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED

MEMBERS ARE NOMINATED BY THEIR CLASSMATES

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HOPE SQUADS HAVE MORE REFERRALS OF HIGH-RISK STUDENTS

AND THOSE STUDENTS RECEIVED SUPPORT THAT WAS ALIGNED WITH THEIR RISK STATUS

ENGAGE PARENTS

EDUCATING PARENTS IN SUICIDE PREVENTION.

 

25% OF ALL REFERRALS

TO COUNSELORS IN SCHOOLS WITH HOPE SQUADS HAVE BEEN FROM MEMBERS. OF THOSE, 14% OF STUDENTS WERE HOSPITALIZED.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why involve students in suicide prevention?

Many students are already talking about heavy topics, such as depression and suicide. Without training, students may keep a peer’s suicidal thoughts secret and try to help the peer by themselves. This causes undue burden and can do more harm than good. If a Hope Squad member learns someone is having suicidal thoughts, he or she knows how to respond and where to get help.

Does talking about suicide increase suicide?

Contrary to the myth, talking about suicide does not give a person the idea of suicide. Rather, research shows that having open conversations about suicide makes the person in crisis feel heard and relieved. By refusing to talk about suicide, it sends the message to those who are struggling that it’s not okay to talk about what they are experiencing or ask for help.

Do Hope Squads train students to be counselors?

Hope Squad does not train students to be counselors, but rather to recognize the signs that a peer is struggling and refer him or her to a trusted adult. Hope Squad curriculum trains students to always go to an adult if they are concerned about a peer’s safety (including bullying and suicidal thoughts), as well as go to an adult if they themselves are struggling. 

A junior from Provo High School’s Hope Squad said it best: “In junior high school I was approached by a friend that shared she [wanted] to kill herself. I did not know what to do or say so I hid it from others and did not help her. Now as a Hope Squad member I am trained as a peer that listens, and then I try to convince my friend to get help. If they don’t seek help, I still report it to my advisor. I am not trained as a therapist or a counselor. But I now know what to do.”

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WHERE WE ARE

Bring a hope squad

to your school

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help Save Young Lives Together.

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