While youth mental health and suicide have been rising over the last decade, COVID-19 has amplified the need for providing supports for those who struggle. Hope Squads provide the missing piece in many schools, a peer-to-peer, evidence-based program that trains students to be the eyes and ears of their school. Students who are trained know how to spot emotional warning signs in their classmates, how to ask the right questions, and how to get their peer to an adult who can intervene before it is too late.
WALK4HOPE2020 will help raise funds to support the 125 Hope Squads that cover Ohio and Southeast Indiana and will help establish 40 new Hope Squads by the end of 2020.
Participants may complete their walk in their neighborhood or, if restrictions due to COVID-19 are lifted, with other Hope Squad members in a safe location in their community. Walkers are asked to solicit donations from family, friends, teachers and neighbors to help support regional Hope Squads and the amazing work members do to save lives.
Youth suicide is the LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH for young people ages 10-14 and the second leading cause of death for those ages 15-23. And the numbers continue to rise year after year.
Concerns about youth mental health and suicide have escalated as our young people have experienced their entire lives turned upside down. Whether anxiety or depression were present before COVID-19, they have more than likely gotten worse as young people experience isolation, uncertain futures and possibly their own safety through this crisis.
That is why our GROW HOPE 2020 initiative is so important. There is such a strong need to have supports in place now and when students return to school. That is where Hope Squad and Grant Us Hope can have an impact.
Hope Squad members are uniquely positioned to be the eyes and ears of their school, actively observing classmates who need support and getting them to the help they need to get healthy.
Your support will help Grant Us Hope provide learning and networking opportunities for all Hope Squad members at three Fall Hope Squad conferences to be held in Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus.
You will also support the launch of 40 new Hope Squads across Ohio, Southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky - saving more young lives by changing the culture of schools through empowering students to help their peers each and every day.
Your participation and donation to the WALK4HOPE2020 will help Hope Squad members continue the important work of saving lives in their schools and communities.