About Park Cities HOPE
Following the 2014 suicides of two students and a family member in the Park Cities community, Highland Park ISD staff, students, the HPHS Student Council, community members and members of the HPISD counseling department shared a desire to address the topic of mental health.
At the same time, the district’s School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) was addressing the well-being of students and staff, with the goal of forming an ad hoc committee to address mental health issues, and the Park Cities HOPE (PC HOPE) task force was created.
The Gil Taylor Depression Awareness Alliance, along with other private donors, provided funding to bring in speaker Kevin Breel, known for his Ted Talk, to share his experiences with depression and suicide ideation at a high school student assembly. The student response was overwhelming and sparked a sense of urgency for the district and the community to address these critical issues.
With the help of community members, PC HOPE began to invite a wide range of stakeholders who embraced the overall mission to join the task force. Recruitment initiatives began with Park Cities community members and expanded to include law enforcement officials, Baylor, Scott and White physicians, area clergy, mental health professionals and representatives of mental health organizations, counselors, parents and HPISD staff.
PC HOPE is working to bring these individuals together as a team, sharing open conversations and collaborating on ways to erase the stigma surrounding mental health issues and to support our community. Park Cities HOPE meets two to three times a year to continue the work.
The mission of Park Cities HOPE is to address the mental health issues affecting our youth and our community and serve as a resource by creating a culture committed to increasing awareness and improving quality of life.