Hope Squad teaches students suicide prevention


Kaitlyn Conrad

Taylorsville students in Hope Squad participate in an activity from the 2016 school year.

Dallen Cameron, Sports Editor

According to Suicide.org, a teen takes his or her own life every 100 minutes. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. Approximately 20 percent of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood. Depression increases a teen’s risk for attempting suicide by 12 times. 30% of teens with depression also develop a substance abuse problem.

Suicide risk can be affected by personality factors such as impulsivity, aggression, and hopelessness. Moreover, suicide risk can also be exacerbated by stressful life circumstances such as a history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse, death, divorce, and/or trauma in the family; persistent serious family conflict.

Hope Squad is a suicide prevention group to help students who suffer from depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue. HOPE Squad stands for Hold On, Persuade, Empower.

The Hope Squad mission is to reduce the number of youth suicides in the state of Utah by providing education, training, and expertise in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. The goal is to teach evidence-based suicide prevention strategies that are both specific and measurable.

“Hope Squad is a group that helps suicide prevention and bring more kindness to the world” said senior and Hope Squad former President Kaitlyn Conrad.

Hope Squad is a place where people can go to have a safe and judgmental place to talk. There are many students who suffer from depression and anxiety that need support of peers around them to get through a difficult time.

“I have gone to a few Hope Squad members for advice when I am down, the members are great listeners” said Senior Jack Star (anonymous).

Hope Squad members have to go through a training to learn how to talk to students who are heavily depressed or suicidal to help those students get the best care and help they need to become who they want to be.

Members meet monthly to learn more and give updates on students. Hope Squad advisors Ms. Stephanie Floch and Ms. Rachel Borrowman are very passionate about Hope Squad and are trying to get the word around about Hope Squad.

“Hope Squad has helped me realize that there are nice people all around, sometimes people need help, Hope Squad can help get people the support,” said former Vice President Sarah Buhler. Hope Squad meets the first Tuesday of every month in Ms. Flochs’ room to discuss and help students about how to accomplish the main goal. Help People!