A Hope Squad is a group of students who have been identified by their peers as being trustworthy and kind. After these students are identified they are invited to be a member of the Hope Squad and both they and their parents sign a permission form for them to be on the squad. Hope Squad members meet regularly with their Hope Squad advisor to be taught how to recognize the signs of suicide contemplation and how to get help from an adult.
Peers are better at recognizing warning signs with their fellow peers because they spend so much time together and notice when someone is acting differently. Research shows that 7 out of 10 adolescents who are experiencing suicidal thoughts will confide in a friend. Unfortunately, friends don't always report it. This is where Hope Squads come in. They are NOT trained to fix the problem. They are trained to get help. They are trained to first try to get the friend to talk to an adult and if that doesn't work to talk to the adult themselves. Hope Squads are an evidence-based peer-to-peer program that is part of Hope4Utah. For more information please visit their website.