HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — Teen suicide is a very sensitive and popular topic, brought to light in social media, and with popular shows like “13 Reasons Why.” In Henderson, city, community and school leaders are all working together to give young people help if they need it.
Hope Squad is a school-based peer support program that trains students how to recognize signs of emotional issues in their classmates. The Henderson Hope Squad will launch on Thursday at seven middle schools and five high schools.
It’s a first of its kind program in Nevada that will be implemented through a partnership between the City of Henderson and the Clark County School District. The Henderson mayor started the program after the death of 14-year-old Caera Hawkes, a Bob Miller student who lost her life to suicide last year.
“If we can put a program like this in place and prevent another family from feeling what we’re feeling and going through what we’re going through, that’s comforting,” said Melissa Hawkes, Caera’s mother.
According to the city, seven out of 10 adolescents experiencing depressive or suicidal thoughts will confide in a friend or trusted peer before approaching an adult.
The city will fund the entire program. The hope is that squad members can be the eyes and ears in Henderson schools.