LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The City of Henderson is launching a program called Henderson Hope Squad to prevent teen suicides at seven middle schools and five high schools. The program is the first of its kind in Nevada and will be implemented through a partnership between the City of Henderson and the Clark County School District.
Hope Squad is a school-based peer support program that trains students to recognize and respond to their friends and classmates who are struggling with emotional issues such as depression and suicide contemplation and to share their concerns with an adult.
“The loss of a young life to suicide is devastating to their friends, family and our community and we must do everything in our power to stop these tragedies,” said Mayor Debra March. “Hope Squad members can be the eyes and ears in our schools to effectively recognize and help prevent suicides and other self-destructive behaviors among Henderson students.”
"Social-emotional support is critical for our students' well-being. Programs like this help students reduce stigma about mental health and improve the opportunities for them to seek assistance when in distress," said CCSD Superintendent Jesus F. Jara. "I thank Hope Squad and the City of Henderson for their partnership to provide teachers, administrators and students with valuable tools to prevent tragic loss.
Friends and classmates are the most effective receptors of suicide warning signs because they spend so much time together and can recognize when someone is acting differently. Evidence-based research shows that seven out of 10 adolescents experiencing depressive or suicidal thoughts will confide in a friend or trusted peer before approaching an adult.
Henderson Hope Squad will be implemented at Brown, Burkholder, Greenspun, Mannion, Miller, Del Webb and Thurman White middle schools; and Basic, Coronado, Foothill, Green Valley and Liberty high schools.