Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hope Squad?

Hope Squad harnesses the power of peer-to-peer connection to reduce the risk of suicide. By partnering with local mental health agencies and training members to recognize warning signs and connect those struggling to help, Hope Squad builds positive relationships and changes the culture surrounding mental health.

Who is the program for?

Hope Squad’s suicide prevention programming is designed for use in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, as well as in adult settings such as among first responders, active-duty military, corporations, and senior centers. The ready-to-use content for each audience is developmentally appropriate and vetted by mental-health experts.

Is it dangerous to talk about suicide with children and teens?

Research has shown that having open conversations about suicide makes a person in crisis feel heard. When we refuse to talk about suicide, it sends the message to those who are struggling that it is not okay to talk about what they are experiencing or ask for help. Hope Squad empowers members to talk about suicide and connect those in crisis to help.

What exactly do Hope Squad members learn?

Hope Squad content aligns closely with social-emotional learning standards, creating a foundation for students to develop social awareness, relationship skills, self-management, self-awareness, and responsible decision-making.  

At the elementary level, members learn about mental wellness, anti-bullying, and resilience.  

At the junior high level and beyond, members are also educated on suicide risk factors and warning signs and are empowered with the knowledge of how to connect struggling peers to timely help.  

Members are NOT asked to be counselors but rather are taught to recognize the signs that a peer is struggling and refer them to a trusted adult.

How much time does the program take?

Flexible implementation allows each organization to take the approach that best works within their setup; some groups meet in school as a daily class, while others meet after school, during homeroom, or during lunch, whether weekly or monthly after their initial training. The Hope Squad curriculum provides scripted lessons and activities designed to take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, with shorter mini-lessons included for each topic, as well. Consistent meetings provide continuing education and touchpoints for Advisors to best respond to the needs of their community and Squad.

How are Advisors recruited?

Anyone who is passionate about mental health and preventing suicide can be trained to lead a Hope Squad; most often, professionals such as school counselors, prevention coordinators, and teachers serve as Advisors in school settings. Additional school support can come from psychologists, social workers, parents, partners from local mental health agencies, and other personnel. Some Hope Squads have two or three Advisors, while others have chosen to have one Advisor, depending on the size of the Squad.

Are Hope Squads successful?

Yes! According to data collection, over 98% of Hope Squad Advisors agree that Hope Squad members know how and where to get help for struggling peers, while over 98% of administrators agree that the Hope Squad programming promotes a positive school climate for their students.

How much does it cost to start a Hope Squad?

Click here to contact our team; we will be happy to answer your questions and help direct you to information on grants and funding if needed.