Hope+Health Fair is May 9

Farragut High School’s Hope Squad — a student led peer-to-peer suicide prevention program — is hosting its inaugural Hope + Health Fair from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m., Monday, May 9, to promote mental health resources, access and knowledge throughout Farragut, Hardin Valley and Bearden.

The event will take place in the FHS’s Vickie B. Wells Auditorium and Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium for community members, parents and students at FHS, Bearden High School and Hardin Valley Academy. It serves as an addendum to “Hope Week” taking place at FHS all during the current week, May 2-6.

“This year, our Hope Squad has taken a closer look into the dimensions of wellness and how each dimension can impact our mental health,” said Andi Tenry, an FHS counselor and sponsor of the Hope Squad who noted the 24-member squad has been working on putting together the event for much of the school year.

“The goal of the Hope + Health Fair is to bring together the schools, our communities and mental health experts to increase access, knowledge and skills that promote all-around well-being,” she added. “Making this Fair happen has been (the culmination of a) faithful, giant leap and purposeful active listening to student voices.”

The event will include a panel discussion with Hope Squad students and mental health experts, along with breakout sessions that will be open to all attendees, with topics ranging from teen mental health-myths and facts, art therapy, mindfulness and self-defense.

“Our gracious community partners across fields, ranging from financial and occupational to physical and mental health, will be available so you can ask the expert, get connected and learn something new,” Tenry said. “Also, there will be food trucks and giveaways.”

Breakout sessions will be hosted by The Middle Path, Insightful Journey Therapy Services, TSPN (Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network) and Tiger Rock — a martial arts academy.

The event begins with a welcome and introductions at 5:50 p.m. The panel discussion begins at 6 p.m. Breakout sessions are from 6:40 to 7 p.m., then from 7:05 to 7:25 p.m.

During planning stages, Hope Squad member and FHS freshman Molly DeFranco drew the “Blue Man” logo featured prominently on the promotion poster.

For additional questions about the Fair, or if anyone has questions he or she

would like to submit to the panel, contact Andi Tenry

via e-mail at andi.tenry@knoxschools.org or Jodi Lee at jodi.lee@knoxschools.org. 

To learn more about what a Hope Squad is, visit www.hopesquad.com. 

“We have also been working with BHS and HVA on starting their own Hope Squads, and we are hoping this initial Hope + Health Fair will be an annual event for all three communities,” Tenry said.