Riverton City Approves Development of Community Hope Squad

December 7, 2016 - Suicide is a serious concern throughout Utah. It’s also one that has a devastating impact on students and families throughout Riverton City. In an effort to create awareness and provide meaningful support and information to Riverton students and community members, Riverton City is working with the internationally recognized resource Hope 4 Utah. Together, a suicide prevention model will be developed that creates essential partnerships between business and community connections, local schools, and valuable medical resources.

The Riverton City Council approved the plan during the November 1 meeting with Councilmember Tricia Tingey leading the initiative as part of the Healthy Riverton committee. This program will help enrich the activities of Riverton High School’s current Hope Squad with a goal of duplicating a Hope Squad in every Riverton City School. In addition to cooperation among schools, expanded support will be needed, including business organizations that can help unify the entire community.

Intermountain Riverton Hospital has pledged financial support and will provide services with Salt Lake County Health Department to help as important resources for suicide prevention.

“We need a complete support system that extends beyond the high school,” stated Tingey. “Riverton High School is one piece of the puzzle. What they’re doing is important. We want to fill in the rest of those pieces by making suicide prevention important to all of our community… in neighborhoods, service organizations, and local businesses.”

As reported by Utah’s Public Health Data Resource, in 2014, suicide was the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 – 17 and 18 – 24. It is the second leading cause of death for ages 25 – 44 and the fourth-leading cause of death for ages 45-64. Overall, suicide is the eighth-leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 +.

To learn more about Hope 4 Utah and their community prevention model, visit hope4utah.com. Riverton citizens and businesses who would like to join the effort to create more awareness and support for suicide prevention, contact Tricia Tingey at ttingey@rivertoncity.com.