Students participate in ‘Hope Week’, bringing awareness to suicide prevention

Students participate in ‘Hope Week’, bringing awareness to suicide prevention
Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 4:24 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Suicide is the second leading cause of death among high school-aged students.

Among all students, 8.9% reportedly have attempted suicide, that’s according to the CDC.

“It’s very important for us as Hope Squad members to teach them it’s not all that scary, and it can be prevented,” said Hope Squad Senior River Saunders.

The First Hope Squads came to the Cincinnati area about three years ago. However, this is the first full year the Hope Squad is active at New Richmond High School.

It’s a group made up of students and advisors, helping young people struggling and providing them with positivity.

“To raise positivity with these kids and keep them going in the right direction and identify those kids who are struggling and being able to provide services for them, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing this week,” said Hope Squad advisor Sharon Nehls.

Each day has a specific theme.

Sunders says that earlier in the week, “We had students write down everything they’re angry about and all their stresses and just tore it up and threw it in the trash, and then they got a cookie.”

Wednesday was lumberjack day; New Richmond Principal, Rob Burnside, says this symbolizes cutting the negativity out of the world.

And Thursday is called “hope floats,” where students had rootbeer floats made at lunch, promoting getting hope to kids that need it most.

“Say you’re feeling down because you think no one cares about you, but then your school puts on a nice week to help you with it and showing that people care about you and that people know what you’re going through and they’re here for you if you need to talk,” said Sophomore at New Richmond High School, Blake Howard.

Students say they know what it feels like firsthand to be stressed out and wanting to give up.

“I’m a senior, so I’ve had to miss out on a lot this year which was stressful and the stress of applying to colleges and commit somewhere,” said Saunders.

It’s why they’re here to help one another, reassuring fellow students they’re all struggling at times, marching to the same beat..but here to help each other push through.

“Just amazed at the work of our students and advisors, I couldn’t be more proud,” said Burnside.

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