History


Sources of Strength was originally developed in the late 1990’s by founder Mark LoMurray with tribal and rural suicide prevention partners in North Dakota.  From 2000-2004 the program was used extensively in a statewide campaign through the North Dakota Adolescent Suicide Prevention Project with encouraging reductions in teen fatality numbers and Youth Risk Behavior Survey markers.

The project received the national 2005 Public Health Practice Award from the American Association of Public Health, Epidemiology Section. In 2007-2009 the project partnered with Peter Wyman, Ph.D, University of Rochester, and C. Hendricks Brown, Ph.D., University of Miami in a large scale, rigorous, randomized trial of Sources of Strength in Georgia, New York, and North Dakota. The research project showed results demonstrating impact of adult supported peer leaders having significant impact across an entire student population. This study was published in the Fall of 2010 in The American Journal of Public Health. Sources of Strength is continuing to participate in The National Peer Leadership Study in partnership with the University of Rochester over the next five years with 40 new schools using Sources of Strength under randomized evaluation. This five year study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

In 2009 Sources of Strength was listed on the National Best Practices Registry by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Sources of Strength has expanded into many states, working with urban, rural and tribal settings. In addition Sources of Strength has begun a comprehensive partnership to bring the program to schools and communities throughout Canada, and continues to discuss opportunities to bring Sources of Strength to countries around the globe. Sources of Strength is presently partnering with hundreds of middle and high schools across the country, Universities large and small, numerous LGBTQ centers and organizations, multiple cultural community centers, The YMCA, faith-based groups, detention centers and much much more. It has truly been an exciting time of growth and development as Sources of Strength has transitioned from a grass roots organization to an international best practice program.



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