The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

Connection and inclusion are key

Hope Squad helps spread awareness about mental health
Hope Squad members are there to lend a listening ear to students. If interested in joining, check back in August.

South High’s Hope Squad’s main goal is to help people.

South counselors Enedina Manriquez Camarena and Michael Buell created the Hope Squad just this year to help spread awareness and let students know there is help available when a crisis hits.

Hope Squad’s goal is to help lower the number of self-destructive behaviors by letting students know there are people available they can speak with and count on.

Buell said he got the idea for the group after observing the program in action at Bellevue West High School and saw potential for the program at South.

Ten students from each grade are chosen as representatives, Buell said.

South is the only school in OPS that has a Hope Squad. EmPOWER Youth Summit – an Omaha event that brings high school students together to learn about mental health awareness and self-care – helped South’s Hope Squad members with recognizing the signs of depression and suicide.

Hope Squad members are available to help students who may be too scared to speak up.

At their meetings every other Tuesday, members are taught how to do their job. Buell said “connection and inclusion” is also what they focus on at their meetings.

During school events and conferences, families also received information about how to speak with their kids regarding suicide and depression.

Manriquez and Buell said they are hoping to see more progress throughout the coming years with the program. There is more visibility now, they said.

If the Hope Squad is something a student would like to join or simply wants more information about, please see Buell and Manriquez in the counseling office.

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Destiny Rodriguez Cabeza, Staff Writer
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