Hope Squad


Dover High School has a new club coming this fall: Hope Squad. It 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. I talked to Mrs. Grimm, our school counselor, and she said, “Due to the increased mental health needs over the last several years, this past year especially, we felt it was important to have some additional formal training as well as additional resources for students. Hope squad leaders will be the school counselors in addition to a couple of trained teachers.” This hope squad will have a big impact on Dover High School students.
Some of the goals of the hope squad are to create a safe school environment, promote connectedness, support anti-bullying, encourage mental wellness, and reduce mental health stigma. It has prevention, intervention, and postvention. The prevention involves educating the school and students. The intervention involves recognizing when someone is at risk and referring that person to mental health resources. Finally, postvention is helping people affected by suicide cope with a loss of reducing the risk of anything further. Hope Squad is in more than nine hundred and fifty schools, and there are over thirty thousand students involved with Hope Squad. The Hope Squad is also in thirty-one states plus Canada.
The goal for Dover is to create a safe environment for students, be good classmates and help in any way possible. Students are to nominate students that they think will be leaders and good mentors for the group. Another cool thing that some schools do is Hope week. Hope week includes activities to help students and inform other students that may not know about the hope squad.