Okaloosa County School Board Unanimously Vote to Bring HOPE SQUAD to EVERY School in the District
After months of collaboration between the Okaloosa County School District and United for a Good Cause, Inc., the HOPE SQUAD Peer to Peer Suicide Prevention Program finally goes before the School Board on December 9th for final vote.
It was a unanimous vote of confidence for the proven Suicide Prevention Program out of Provo, Utah to be implemented in the Okaloosa County School District starting in 2020.
In the last five years, Okaloosa County has had thirty (30) suicides in young people between the ages of 10 to 24. Seventeen (17) of those were school age kids 10 to 18. - Florida Department of Health
WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO STOP IT!
Over 6,800 young people DIE FROM SUICIDE each year. EACH DAY OVER 3,000 TEENS NATIONWIDE ATTEMPT SUICIDE. Teen suicide skyrocketed 76% between 2008 and 2018. Okaloosa County lost 30 young people ages 10-24 in the last five years – 17 of those were ages 9-18. And there were thousands of attempts and ideations.
IT MUST STOP. United for a Good Cause, Inc., a Florida 501c3 non-profit organization who are focused on the growth and development of our area youth, have taken on the mission of doing something about it. They asked consultant Peggy Brockman to come on board to research the programs available and after months of research, the Hope Squad program started by Hope4Utah was selected as the best possible program for our community. Hope Squads reduce youth suicide through education, training and peer intervention. It was the best peer to peer suicide prevention program we could find. Hope Squad members are nominated by their classmates as trustworthy peers and trained by certified advisors. They are not taught to act as counselors, but rather how to be peer advocates, recognize signs of suicide contemplation, and respectfully report any concerns to an adult. Hope Squads are the eyes and ears of the school.
Hope Squad members strive to create a safe school environment, promote kindness and connectedness, support anti-bullying, encourage mental wellness, reduce mental health stigma and prevent substance misuse.
JOIN THE HOPE MOVEMENT! WE NEED YOUR HELP! WE NEED YOUR SPONSORSHIP, END OF YEAR OR FIRST OF YEAR CONTRIBUTIONS to help us reach our $300,000 goal, we need you to help us create awareness. We need the opportunity to come speak at events you are a part of….heck, we even need a donated office space in the Fort Walton Area! Visit us at www.bringhopenow.com to learn more and to download a free resource on recognizing the signs of suicide and to add your name to our mailing list to be notified when events are taking place. Email us at U4GCHS@gmail.com or call Peggy Brockman, Executive Director, at 850-259-8356 for more information on how YOU or YOUR COMPANY can help make our dream of saving lives by bringing HOPE SQUAD to every school in our district a reality. EVERY LIFE MATTERS – JOIN US IN BRINGING HOPE TO STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES.