St. DavidUnified School District #21

Hope Squad

Hope Squad is a very special program at our school for suicide prevention. Please check this page regularly for current information. This information is important for all parents whether your student is part of our Hope Squad or not.

Hope Squad

A Message From Our Coordinator

In order to address the increasing number of students experiencing depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems, we reviewed different programs that would best suit our needs. In 2017, we organized a HOPE Squad at our school. Having been featured on an NBC News special and in a People Magazine article, HOPE Squads are rapidly expanding throughout the country and are facilitated by educators, psychologists, councilors, and others at hope4utah.com. They are now in eighteen states, plus Canada, and in over 600 schools. We are the first and only in Arizona; however, this program has shown great success in helping students and we hope it will spread throughout all of the state. It is an evidence-based, peer-to-peer program that identifies students who tend to be a source of trust and comfort. These students learn about and then present to others suicide warning signs, risk factors, and how to refer fellow students for help. The HOPE squads also presents monthly activities on kindness, resiliency, compassion, and other valuable topics. We sponsor a “Day of HOPE” with guest speakers and activities. We also hold a “HOPE Week” in which we have a special presentation and week-long activities geared toward encouraging students to care about each other, to understand diversity, and to develop empathy. In addition, we enjoyed sponsoring an “Out of the Darkness” activity for the community last spring. Our school and community has seen great success with this program in assisting students to receive the help they need and in improving the atmosphere of caring at our school. Staff and students have commented on the difference this program is making and we have even had a local doctor tell us that one of his adolescent patients was saved from suicide as a direct result of this program.

Melanie Larson, R.N.
Health Science Instructor

Aubri Jacquez, R.N.
School Nurse & HOPE Squad Advisor

Bounce Back

“Bounce Back!” is an acronym for some of the foundational principles of resilience:

B – Bad times don’t last, and things get better.
O – Other people can only help if you share with them.
U – Unhelpful thinking only makes you feel worse.
N – Nobody is perfect: not you, not your friends, not your family, not anybody!
C – Concentrate on the good things in life, no matter how small.
E – Everybody suffers, everybody feels pain and experiences setbacks; they are a normal part of life.

B – Blame fairly: negative events are often a combination of things you did, things others did, and plain bad luck.
A – Accept what you can’t change and try to change what you can.
C – Catastrophizing makes things worse. Don’t fall prey to believing in the worst interpretation.
K – Keep things in perspective. Even the worst moment is but one moment in life.

Hope Squad students blowing bubbles outside