District Shares the Need for Hope


Emma Padelford

Back in November, Mountain Ridge partnered with Terramar Elementary and put on a suicide and mental illness awareness night. Last Monday, there was another one of these events put on at the district office at 6:00pm. This event is what the district is calling the kick off to mental health awareness districtwide.

The idea of hope in a child’s life is one of the major focuses and purposes of these events. The trends across the nation and in Arizona are increasing regarding mental health needs and with teen suicide. According to the Parent Resource Foundation, “Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 3,041 attempts by young people grades 9-12.” This increases is what drives the hunger for action in our district.

“I think that there is this misconception that sometimes the hubs of a community are faith based, and while they are, no doubt about it, schools play a very large role as a community hub as well,” Miranda states. “So I think that our rise up to start addressing systematically, these needs [for mental health awareness].”

The event held at Terramar, last month, was specific to suicide awareness. They partnered with an organization called “For the Love of Travis” and with a grief counselor who came and spoke to the audience about mental health, grieving, and moving forward through difficult situations. However, this event’s main focus as on the continuation of spreading mental health awareness.

“This one was really more about the role we play as adults and educators in kids’ lives,” Miranda said “And our ability to give them hope, which is the opposite of a student being at risk.”

Miranda states that the purpose of the Gallup Poll which we take as students, is to get a measurement of the amount of hope the typical student has. The Gallup Poll contains questions that make students think about how safe, determined, and hopeful we feel on our campus. Miranda noted that student hopefulness is not as high as it is wanted to be, so in order to change that fact, Miranda’s goal is to help students understand what hope really is, and to stop focusing on the risks and negative factors associated with life.

“Hope is really a future thought. At risk is a current and past thought. So when you think about all the struggles that somebody goes through, have already happened, or are happening now. But if you look towards the future, what’s your vision towards that? That creates hope,” Miranda said.