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Hope Squad 

Understanding peer-to-peer Training

Peer-to-peer training is an integral component of many youth suicide-prevention programs. It trains the students to recognize warning signs in depressed or suicidal peers, and to empower them to report those signs to an adult.Peers are considered to be the most effective receptors of warning signs because they spend so much time together and are able to recognize when someone is acting differently. Evidence-based research shows that seven out of ten adolescents experiencing depressive or suicidal thoughts will confide in a friend or trusted peer before approaching an adult. The challenge is that very rarely will the friend/trusted peer speak to their peers, and then refer their peers to an adult who can get their peer professional help, thus taking the responsibility off the adolescent.

What is a Hope Squad?

HOPE Squads are the eyes and ears of your school. They are comprised 

of students who are trained to watch for at-risk students–provide 

friendship, identify warning signs, and seek help from adults. HOPE4UTAH works with school advisors to train students who have been identified by their classmates as trustworthy peers to serve as HOPE Squad members. Through evidence-based training modules, HOPE Squad members are empowered to seek help and save a life.

HOPE Squad members are NOT taught to act as counselors, but rather, are educated on how to recognize signs of suicide contemplation, and how to properly and respectfully report this to an adult. Once invited to be HOPE Squad members, students willing to go through the training must get a permission form signed by their parents. After completing their training, HOPE Squad members host a parents’ night where they teach their parents and family members about what it means to be a HOPE Squad member


Why a Hope Squad?

HOPE4UTAH has seen much success through their evidence-based 

peer-to-peer program. Students have identified their school’s HOPE 

Squads as a source of trust and comfort. In 9 years, 34 HOPE Squads have

been formed in the Provo City School District, and over 250 students 

have been referred for help. HOPE Squads aim to:

-Enhance the health and safety measures already in place at a school.

-Educate students on how to recognize warning signs of suicide.

-Educate students how to respectfully reports potential suicide behavior.

-Train students how to interact with, watch, and support fellow students/friends who may be struggling.

-Implement evidence-based strategies through HOPE Squad training programs.

-Reduce suicide attempts.

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