In that moment, it was the only option that I could think of. If I had known more about how to recognize depression and where to go for help… I may have been able to avoid this situation or gotten help before attempting to take my own life. It’s my goal with the creation of HOPES to prevent my story from happening to anyone else in my family and community.
These were the words shared by Isabel Salas during a recent school board meeting. Driven by personal experience, the staggering statistics, and a passion for helping others, Isabel Salas, LBHS student initiated “Helping Our Peers End Suicide” (HOPES) as part of her internship last year.
With the goal of increasing awareness, promoting prevention strategies, and instilling a sense of hope, Isabel joined forces with LBHS Guidance Counselor, Amy Knob and Room One to recruit and train about 25 students from LBHS. Once trained, they facilitated opportunities for students the learn about facts, the signs and triggers, and what one can do if he or she is thinking about harming themselves or knows of someone who is thinking of doing so.
This year, HOPES is off and running with approximately 50 students expressing interest in being trained! In addition to providing educational lessons in support of their peers, HOPES plans to launch a community conversation focused on educating people about teen suicide, the signs, and what we can do to prevent it. Further, Isabel is currently exploring the possibility of expanding HOPES to include other communities throughout Okanogan County based upon the interest in the program expressed by others.
Please join us as we share our gratitude appreciation with Isabel Salas, the many other students who have joined HOPES, and the many caring adults providing mentorship and support for their courageous and compassionate leadership.
If you or anyone you know is showing signs of suicide, please reach out a member of HOPES, text 741741 (someone will text you back), call Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare Crisis Line at (509) 826-6191, or Room One at (509) 997-2050. We care, we want to talk with you, and want to help.