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How the Gloucester Hope Squad Works to Prevent Teen Suicide

Youth suicide can cause students to be deeply affected on multiple levels. The loss of peers to suicide can have a profound emotional impact, leaving students feeling shocked, confused, and overwhelmed with grief. It can also create a sense of fear and uncertainty as they ask questions about their mental health and the well-being of their friends. The tragedy of youth suicide can also lead to increased stress and pressure, as students may feel a heightened sense of responsibility to look out for one another. Schools and communities need to prioritize mental health support and give them access to organizations like the Hope Squad, so they feel safe to express their feelings. 

The pressures of academics, social life, and personal expectations can affect students’ well-being. Schools and communities need to provide support and resources to help students cope with stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. Gloucester High School Hope Squad is an organization run by students that aims to promote mental health and prevent suicide in school. Each student is trained to be a peer supporter and advocate for their classmates. The Hope Squad members are there to listen, offer support, and connect students in need with the appropriate resources. They create a safe and inclusive environment where students feel comfortable reaching out for help. The Hope Squad plays a crucial role in raising awareness about mental health, reducing stigma, and fostering a sense of belonging within the school community. By prioritizing mental health, we can create a healthier, more positive environment for students to thrive. 

 This organization’s goal is to provide a safe and uplifting environment. Here at Gloucester, students have done many things to ensure this is true. An event the Hope Squad volunteers at is the suicide prevention walk, held every year here in Gloucester. The prevention walk aims to raise awareness about suicide prevention and mental health. It’s a walk where people come together to show support, share stories, and raise funds for organizations that provide resources and support for those struggling with mental health issues. The walk usually involves participants walking a designated route while wearing symbolic colors or carrying signs to spread the message of hope and unity. It’s a way for communities to come together, break the silence surrounding mental health, and support those struggling. It’s a powerful event that helps promote understanding, compassion, and resources for those in need. If you or someone you know is struggling, reaching out to the Hope Squad can be a great first step in getting the help and support needed. Remember, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. There are people who care and want to help.

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About the Contributor
Rylee Kemnitz, Staff Reporter
My name is Rylee Kemnitz, and I am 15. I’d like to pursue therapy after high school.  I go to Gloucester High School and live in Hayes.  This is my first time taking this class. I took this class because I love to write and I believe journalism can allow me to be a voice for truth, and make a positive impact on society or in the school. I will make a difference by uncovering important/interesting stories and giving a voice to the voiceless. My words can have the power to inform, inspire, and spark change.

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