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Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Supports

The ESC has partnered with Grant Us Hope to provide a suite of evidenced-based programming focused on creating communities of leadership and advocacy that enhance mental wellness, trauma support, safety and suicide prevention in schools. Grant Us Hope partners to fill service gaps that exist within districts and schools and also is the exclusive Ohio provider of the Hope Squad peer-to-peer suicide prevention program. The complete list of services offered includes:
  • Youth mental health first aid and mental health first aid training
  • Question, persuade, refer (QPR) suicide gatekeeper and instructor training
  • Hope Squad peer-to-peer suicide prevention program
  • Suicide postvention support team and toolkit
  • Certified staff wellness coaching
  • Consultative plan development for districts and schools

Hope Squad Details

Hope Squad members are peer-nominated students trained to watch for at-risk students, provide friendship, identify warning signs, and seek help from adults. Members are trained to be more aware of emotional needs using evidence-based training modules and are empowered to seek help before a student makes a potentially deadly decision.

The program includes direct instruction on the following:
  • How to instruct school personnel to identify the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide, and self-harm in students.
  • How to introduce students to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide, and self-harm in their peers.
  • How to identify appropriate mental health services within schools and larger communities and when and how to refer youth and their families to those services.
  • How to teach students about mental health and depression, warning signs of suicide, and the importance of and processes for seeking help on behalf of self and peers and reporting those behaviors.
  • How to identify observable warning signs and signals of individuals who may be a threat to themselves.
  • How to identify visible warning signs and signals of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others.
  • The importance of taking threats seriously and seeking help.
  • The Hope Squad program contains a curriculum that utilizes QPR techniques and emphasizes suicide prevention fundamentals, self-care, and anti-bullying practices.

Participating School Districts

Central Ohio school districts currently participating in the program include Bexley City Schools, Dublin City Schools, Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, Hilliard City Schools, Upper Arlington City Schools, and Westerville City Schools. 

Contact Us

To learn more about Grant Us Hope services and how they might help your school, please contact Senior Director of Programming Vicky Clark at [email protected].