Evidence

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). The Best Practices Registry (BPR) of SPRC lists interventions that have undergone rigorous evaluation and have demonstrated positive outcomes. Then in 2011 Sources of Strength was listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). NREPP is SAMHSA’s online registry of interventions that have demonstrated effectiveness in the prevention or treatment of mental health and substance use disorders, including some interventions that address suicide, such as Sources of Strength. The NREPP registry only lists a handful of programs and is the Gold Standard of prevention in the United States.

Sources of Strength was the subject of one of the nation’s largest studies on peer leaders and their impact in suicide prevention. The results of this study were published in 2010 in the American Journal of Public Health, showing:

  • Increase in peer leaders’ connectedness to adults
  • Increase in peer leaders’ school engagement
  • Peer leaders in larger schools were four times more likely to refer a suicidal friend to an adult
  • Among general student population the program increased positive perceptions of adult support for suicidal youth and the acceptability of seeking help
  • Positive perception of adult support increased most in students with a history of suicidal thoughts

    Wyman, P. et al. (2010). An outcome evaluation of the Sources of Strength suicide prevention program delivered by adolescent peer leaders in high schools.
    American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 100: 1653-1661.

 

Sources of Strength is the first suicide prevention program involving peer leaders to enhance protective factors associated with reducing suicide at the school population level.

In 2010, Sources of Strength and the University of Rochester began a 6-year randomized trial using Sources of Strength with more than 40 high schools to measure the impact of 1,500 peer leaders on approximately 15,000 adolescents; this ongoing study is being funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as part of the National Peer Leadership Study.

Sources of Strength has engaged in additional research and evaluation efforts with Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Manitoba, The Black Dog Institute in Australia, amongst others. Over the past decade Sources of Strength has become one of the most rigorously evaluated and researched programs in the world.