Hope Squad focuses on a peer-to-peer approach for suicide prevention
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - For Tam Larnerd, suicide is an issue that hits close to home.
The former principal lost a student to suicide, and now uses this inspiration to teach students and faculty how to recognize the signs if they see someone with mental health struggles
“And so I just know that if those kids were trained and equipped, they’re not bad kids. They just didn’t know what to do when they saw atypical behavior and how to report it. And hopefully next time save a life,” said Larnerd.
The Hope Squad is a school based peer-to-peer suicide prevention program that trains nominated students with lessons focused on resiliency, inclusivity, connectedness, and social media awareness.
It also lets them know they’re part of a team.
“There is help. There’s resources. There’s people that are dedicated to this and. It’s encouraging that, you know, even for us. Mental health professionals being able to start somewhere. I feel it can feel so daunting. So having something a curriculum and and things and support from an organization to really take that first step and then turn it into what we need in our community, that’s huge,” said Jamie Mack.
The Hope Squad is made possible by the Greater Mankato Area United Way. Parents and students can expect to see the hope squad within their schools sometime this fall.
“I’m really excited. I think kind of the the idea behind Hope Squad and how it’s peer-to-peer interaction and intervention. I think that is going to be or have a big part in our students days and. I’m just excited to have another opportunity for them,” said Emma Sill.
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