What is Sources of Strength?
Sources of Strength is an evidence-based best practice youth suicide prevention program designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. Sources of Strength moves beyond a risk-focus and utilizes an upstream approach, mobilizing a group of powerful Peer Leaders to spread messages of Hope, Help, and Strength throughout their school and community. This upstream model strengthens multiple sources of support (protective factors) around young individuals so that when times get hard, they can leverage their strengths.
The mission of Sources of Strength is to empower a well world and prevent suicide by increasing help-seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults. The program uses a fun-filled style of active learning to encourage open discussion about the very real problems that youth face and what can help. Sources of Strength believes it takes both students and staff working together to create a lasting positive impact, therefore, Adult Advisors and Peer Leaders will be trained.
Sources of Strength utilizes Social Network Theory to nominate influential student leaders to make a lasting positive impact on their communities. This is accomplished when trained peer leaders along with adult advisors, plan and implement schoolwide campaigns. Our first Campaign this year was Getting the Word Out, and it was a huge success. In November, we will be starting our Trusted Adult campaign.
The eight Sources of Strength that
we teach students to rely on are:
Family Support, Positive Friends,
Mentors, Healthy Activities,
Physical Health, and Mental Health.