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Minico High School ‘Hope Squad’ works to prevent suicide

The students in the class say it has changed the perspective of everyone at Minico High School.
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 5:52 PM MDT
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RUPERT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Suicide is a leading cause of death in teenagers 15 to 19 years old, according to the CDC.

But through a peer to peer suicide prevention program- the Hope Squad- works to help.

“We learn the warning signs and how to talk to students, so we call it QPR,” said Lorinda Garner, the teacher for the class. “So question, if you think somebody is struggling, ask them, and don’t let them off the hook, keep asking until you get to the truth, and then you persuade them to try to get help, if you can’t persuade them then you refer, QPR.”

Each student in the class was nominated by their peers.

Once a day, the Hope Squad meets to learn about mental health disorders, and ways they can help.

“We’ve heard from a few people that we’ve actually helped a little bit, and even that little bit, it’s just amazing to hear that we are helping,” said Mason Edward Gregory, who is a senior at Minico High School.

The idea is to give those who are struggling a little bit of hope, and to know they aren’t alone.

“Today at lunch, I saw a kid sitting alone at the table, so I went down and sat down by him and pulled out the UNO cards, and we had a game of UNO,” said Noah Canon George, who is a junior at Minico High School. “He wasn’t necessarily struggling with his mental health, but he was alone, so now if he ever is struggling, he has that connection.”

The students in the class say it has changed the perspective of everyone at Minico High School.

“Part of the problem with mental health is it’s hard to tell how it’s going until something bad happens, some of the only signs that tell us we have an issue is when someone does attempt or when someone does lose their life, so the point of the Hope Squad is to make sure we never get to that level,” said George.

More than 950 schools throughout the United States also have Hope Squads.

The program originated in Provo, Utah.

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