This past year we trained hundreds of our students to be a part of our Hope Squad Team. This is a school-based peer to peer suicide prevention program. Our Hope Squad Teams are made up of students selected by their peers. They are trained to watch for at-risk students, provide friendship, identify suicide-warning signs, and seek help from adults. Hope Squad members are NOT taught to act as counselors but are educated on recognizing suicide warning signs and how to properly and respectfully report concerns to an adult. The Hope Squads have been doing amazing things in our schools and are already helping our students. For instance, playing Hope Squad Bingo. At a football game last week, they handed out bingo cards, with suggestions on how to reach out to others and engage in friendly activities. They could cheer for the other team, or buy a stranger a hotdog, just fun ways to treat others with kindness.
With September being Suicide Awareness Month, we wanted to express the importance of communication about mental health and eliminate the stigma that has surrounded this for years. We want to give our community some resources for when a friend, child or neighbor needs help.
Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255
Text HOME to 741741
Hilliard PD – 614-876-7321
Dublin PD – 614-889-1112
Columbus PD – 614-645-4545
Please, talk with your children and keep an open dialogue. Please, call for help when you need it. This is a concern we share with our community, and together we can combat this and get our students the help they need.