On Saturday, the 22nd of September, Ogden was able to host the Northern Utah Suicide Awareness Walk that joined together Hope Squads from around northern Utah and those remembering or supporting a loved one, recovering from hard times themselves, or just a supporter of the cause. This walk was held in recognition of September being National Suicide Prevention Month, and was attended both by Morgan High school and Middle school Hope Squads.
The event was inspiring to the youth that attended, and showed the significance and need for suicide awareness and prevention. The walk—around one mile in distance of Historic 25th Street– was kicked off by the members of Hope Squad who then, without instruction, stepped to the side and cheered sincerely and respectfully for each family as they passed by.
Speaking at the event was Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, who was followed with a special guest performance by renowned singer Alex Boye. Boye sang a new song titled “Bend Not Break” and encouraged people all around the world to share with his “Message of Hope and Love”.
Morgan’s Hope Squads were very happy to be able to attend, and both the students and advisors are ready and willing to assist anyone that may need help. The high school Hope Squad advisor is Destiny Field, partnered with the Middle school’s Kandi Christiansen. Hope Squad as an organization is relatively new, but it shows promising results all throughout Utah. The premise of Hope Squad is to have students trained to recognize signs of depression, anxiety, or struggles of any kind in their peers, and then have them direct those in need to resources that can help them. While they are not intended to act in a counseling role, they serve a crucial part in assisting their peers. Students are placed into the Hope Squad program by way of nomination, and then spend time during the summer and throughout the school year preparing for their roles.