WASHINGTON: “Hope” Springs Eternal in Hoquiam School District
April 06, 2018
The Hoquiam School District in Washington State has launched a Hope Squad—a peer support program that aims to prevent youth suicide. Primarily focused on middle schools, Hope Squad educators train students how to identify peers who may be at risk for suicide and seek help from a trusted adult when they are concerned about a classmate. The program has set up safe spaces in every school where students can access counseling and other supports when they are struggling. The Hope Squad has also worked closely with the school district’s School Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training team to establish a protocol for responding to a suicide or mental health crisis. “The focus is the prevention of a crisis, the handling of a crisis, and dealing with the aftermath of a crisis,” said Lincoln Elementary School Principal Colin Nelson. Hoquiam is the first school district in the state to implement the Hope Squad program. Based on its success, school officials are hoping to expand it across the county.
Spark Extra! Learn more about Hope Squads.