BONHAM, Texas (KTEN) — The Bonham Independent School District is focused on removing the stigma from mental health and suicide prevention by raising awareness on all three of its campuses. 

"This starts off with our three-year-olds and the lessons go all the way up to our high schoolers," said social behavioral counselor Libinka Marvin.

Each campus includes one hour of training each week for a program called Character Strong. The curriculum encourages self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. 

Bonham ISD introduced the counselor position focusing on mental health just last year. Now, Marvin helps facilitate four different programs aimed at initiating difficult conversations.

"This is a way to lessen the stigma and get more people involved," she said.

Eighth and ninth grade students will receive five additional hours of a program called Youth Aware of Mental Health. YAM incorporates the topic of mental health through role-play and student-led discussions. 

"It's very important for students to tap into their mental health and also just being a good peer to their classmates," said Bonham ISD spokesperson Jordan Thompson.

One way to be a better friend is for those students elected to a group called Hope Squad.

"They look for a student that is withdrawn; they look for a student that is maybe losing weight; they look for a student that is probably missing school a lot," Marvin said.

All Hope Squad members are trained in a process called Question, Persuade and Refer. QPR is explained as a process similar to CPR, but for suicide prevention. Students then report to their parents or advisors, who are also trained in QPR.

Hope Squad is currently organizing a walk to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.