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ESC Offers Mental Health, Suicide Prevention Supports
students with hands stacked in the middle wearing hope squad clothing
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
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.

Vicky Clark, senior director of programming at Grant Us Hope in partnership with the ESC, said “The partnership between the Central Ohio ESC and Grant Us Hope has dramatically increased support, services, and resources to member districts in meeting the mental health needs of students. Working together provides a pivotal way of focusing on prevention and intervention to significantly improve the wellbeing of our youth.” The program is currently provided in several Central Ohio school districts including Bexley City Schools, Dublin City Schools, Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, Hilliard City Schools, Upper Arlington City Schools, and Westerville City Schools. 

With over 35 years of education experience, last serving as assistant superintendent with Hilliard City Schools, Vicky has much experience supporting youth mental health and wellness. Her formal education includes degrees from The Ohio State University and Wright State University and continuing studies at Ashland University. Her credentials include an Ohio teaching license, teacher's general education K-8, intervention specialist K-12, and a superintendent license. She is a certified QPR and youth mental health first aid trainer and staff wellness facilitator.

For more information regarding Grant Us Hope services offered through the ESC, see here:

To contact Vicky Clark for more information, please email her at [email protected] or call 614.668.6005.