Timberland Has H.O.P.E

HOPE Walk Poster Photo Credits: Bella Rainey

Bella Rainey, Web Designer & Reporter

For the first time, Timberland hosted a “HOPE Week” to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention. H.O.P.E stands for “Hold On Pain Ends”. Several clubs participated in the preparation for the week and planned a spirit week, walk event, guest speaker and balloon release to get students involved.


“Hope week was a weeklong project dedicated to ending the stigma that surrounds mental health while working toward suicide position. The goal was to help people realize that mental health issues are not something to be embarrassed by,” senior Maddie Est said.


The week focused on being positive and reaching out to those who feel alone in their battle with mental health.


“Our goal is to try to eliminate social stigma around mental health issues and bring awareness to suicide prevention. We also want to try and highlight multiple different types of mental health issues, from more common things such as anxiety and depression to more complex and more stigmatized issues like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We hope we can at least ease conversations about these tough subjects,” senior Isy Giltner said.


Students organized this week after feeling like mental health is not valued in high school and wanting to draw attention to the importance of students’ mental well being, according to the HOPE Week Committee.


“The goal and purpose of a HOPE Week is to give each other support and be able to come together as a whole school. We want to support those struggling with mental illness and stop the stigma that comes along with that,” junior Brooke Bzdawka said.


On Thursday, March 15, an assembly was held in honor of Taylor Gilpin Wallace, a victim of suicide. His mother spoke on his behalf concerning suicide prevention and awareness.


“Taylor Gilpin Wallace was a junior counselor at MASC Summer Leadership Workshop the first year I attended camp and lost his life to suicide. His mother started a foundation, so all proceeds from the week are going straight to their cause,” senior Sarah Browning said.


In trying to get all of the student body involved, the HOPE Week committee organized several events that all students could participate in.


“I am excited to see the impact this week is going to have on our students and staff here at Timberland. There are so many people involved and working hard to make it a success. I really think we are taking a step towards lasting change,” Browning said.


The HOPE Walk was held on Friday, March 16, in the Timberland gymnasium. There were several booths set up that touched on different aspects of mental health awareness, de-stress events and self love.


For more information about the Taylor Gilpin Wallace foundation, you can visit www.tgr-fsp.com.