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The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

Bringing Hope

The Hope Squad is Coming to GHS ‘24-‘25
Courtesy+of+Hopesquad.com
Courtesy of Hopesquad.com

Encouraging inclusivity and a feeling of belonging in any type of community is essential for the mental health of the people within it. The Hope Squad of Gretna High School, starting next school year, is wanting to shine a light on mental health of students and help any student who is having thoughts of suicide.

“The Hope Squad members will be trained on how to connect students to resources,” counselor Melissa Ryan said. “Sometimes it’s the counseling office, but there are students who still don’t feel comfortable just coming in here, so they feel more comfortable coming and talking to a peer.”

Those peers, who are members of the Hope Squad, will be taught how to connect students to an adult who they can talk to for help. This is so that students who are thinking about suicide can get the guidance that they need, and they would only have to talk to their peers, whom they trust and are more comfortable talking to. Members are not considered counselors for struggling students, but rather a group that can notify someone who is.

As a suicide prevention group, the Hope Squad will be made up of 25 members, all of who show characteristics of a trustworthy, kind and caring person. Nominations for next year’s members have already taken place.

“We have an MTSS team to go through all the students that people have written in and see which come to the top,” Ryan said. “Those are the ones we are looking at, along with the student body. We want to cover all of the different types of students we have, and if there’s some that we need to add in addition to ones that are chosen, we do reserve the right to do that.”

We want to cover all of the different types of students we have, and if there’s some that we need to add in addition to ones that are chosen, we do reserve the right to do that.

— Melissa Ryan, GHS counselor

The advisors of the Hope Squad will review these nominations that the students have entered in on April 25. On April 29, those who have been selected will be talked to and met with during AEP to go over the responsibilities of being a member. If the student chooses to accept the position, on May 8, a parent meeting will be held in order to discuss questions that they may have. From there, the first official Hope Squad meeting will take place sometime this May.

“It probably won’t be a huge announcement. We will tell them, because if they are nominated, it doesn’t mean that they have to be a part of it,” Ryan said. “There is a layer of having parents involved, so the parents will have to understand exactly what student responsibilities are. It may not be until the fall until we really announce it to the entire student body.”

This is a group that plans to be active within the school throughout the entire school year and not something that students see only once or twice in the year.

“You will know who the Hope Squad members are because they are going to all have the same t-shirts, and they will have certain days of the month that they wear them,” Ryan said. “So right away when school starts, the students will start to see who those students are, and they will be recognizable.”

The Hope Squad, which is a researched-based suicide prevention tool, will be put into effect immediately as the 2024-2025 school year begins. They are aiming to make Gretna High School a more inclusive, positive and caring place to be.

“I know that there are kids who are struggling, so my hope is that we will learn about more of those kids sooner, because I do think they can find it more readily in their classmates than they do in staff,” Principal Todd Mueller said. “I also think that gives our students a little bit more ownership and contribution to the school’s wellbeing.”

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About the Contributor
Avery Hansen
Avery Hansen, Reporter
Avery Hansen is a sophomore at GHS and this is her second semester on the Gretna Media staff. She serves as a reporter. She is interested in journalism because she likes to write. Besides being in journalism she enjoys playing basketball, tennis and hanging out with her friends.

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    Ian S WasalaskiApr 29, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    We accept you! Unless you’re weird!

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