Hope Squad is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program. Hope Squad members are nominated by their classmates as trustworthy peers and trained by advisors. The program reduces youth suicide through education, training, and peer intervention.
Prior to the pandemic, we had been exploring a national program proven to reduce instances of suicide among children. As we’ve seen the toll of the pandemic impact on some of our students is even more critical. We look at ways to address mental health systemically here in Woodland Public Schools. As such our district counseling team has explored the Hope Squad Program and would like to recommend it for adoption. Hope Squad was developed by educators in partnership with mental health experts to deliver evidence-based training on how schools approach mental health and suicide prevention.
This program is a K-12 approach that helps students recognize warning signs and peers in distress and then take action by referring them to trusted adults. The students also develop ways to support peers increasing connectedness in the school community ensuring all students feel they are an important part of the school community. Topics of bullying prevention, self-care, and mental health agencies are also addressed. Hope Squad seeks to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and learn how to encourage peers to make healthy choices.
Asst. Supt. Riley and Principal Pearl will present Hope Squad to the board seeking approval for implementation.