City of Westerville recognizes Hope Squad in National Suicide Prevention Month proclamation

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Hope Squad, a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program all Westerville high schools have implemented this fall, was recognized in a City of Westerville proclamation honoring National Suicide Prevention Month.

Westerville Mayor Kathy Cocuzzi announced the proclamation at Tuesday’s City Council meeting where representatives from the Hope Squad were on hand to accept it. They include student leaders from Westerville Central (Anna Granata), Westerville North (Sophie Rentschler) and Westerville South (Kaiden Wolfe). Hope Squad advisors Beth Baryon and Lauren Hoffman also attended. (Hoffman is a member of the Westerville Education Challenge, which financially supports the Hope Squad program.)

“This is a time that is dedicated to bringing visibility to the role everyone in the community can play in preventing suicide and to encourage all community members to know the signs, find the words, and reach out to someone they are concerned about,” Cocuzzi said.

Rentschler spoke on behalf of the Hope Squad team, explaining the program and the importance of suicide/mental health education in schools and the community.