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Hope Squad conference hopes to teach kids to help other kids

Their son's suicide moves Tri-State parents to expand the mental health safety net for teens
Posted at 9:27 AM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-08 07:34:55-05

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Teen suicide rates are on the rise, but the Ohio Hope Squad conference wants to teach young people how to help their peers if they show signs of suicide ideation.

"We know kids are talking to kids," said Keith Klein, the executive director the Grant Us Hope. "But seven out of 10 times that conversation never gets to an adult..."

Grant Us Hope, a Cincinnati-base nonprofit which advocates to enhance mental wellness, safety and prevention, brings the Hope Squad program to local schools.

After her son Grant committed suicide in 2015, Diane Egbers from Symmes Township worked to bring the Hope Squad program to Ohio.

Since the program's inception in the area, it has put young people, like Norwood High School student Maliyah Mabry, in touch with others who can potentially help people in her situation.

"They immediately took me to Children's Hospital," Mabry said. "This wasn't the easiest thing to do because not everyone understands what it feels like to be alone."

And Egbers hopes that through this program, no young person ever feels alone.

"The unconditional love and regard, the caring these kids provide to other kids, they reach out and really try to get them help," Egbers said. "That was the spirit of my son."