The following resources have been developed for Sources of Strength Elementary Coaches who have completed the two day training and are now supporting the implementation of Sources of Strength at the 3rd - 6th grade level. In Unit 4 ‘Connecting to Help,’ there are two versions of Lesson 4.2. The lessons are essentially identical with one primary difference: Lesson 4.2B defines and discusses the concept of suicide and how connecting others to help in times of need can save lives. It is just as important to have this open and honest discussion with the adults in a school as it is for students.
We encourage ongoing communication with Parents/Caregivers/Guardians throughout the lessons. Doing so will help provide context and information of what their student is learning. The following resources are designed to support the use of the suicide specific lesson with tools to introduce and discuss the lesson with school personnel, as well as a Parent/Caregiver/Gaurdian letter. If Parents/Caregivers/Guardians have questions or concerns, they should be invited into the school to read the entire lesson and discuss it with staff. Please do not send the lesson out to be read. It is important to note that having an open and honest discussion about suicide is protective in nature; it does not lead individuals to consider suicide.
If your school chooses to use lesson 4.2B in the 3rd-6th curriculum, the following recommendations are suggested:
- During implementation planning, discuss with administration and mental health staff whether Lesson 4.2A or B will be taught. If version B will be taught, decide which grade level(s) will receive it.
- 1 month prior to instructing the lesson
- Invite all staff who work in the classrooms where Lesson 4.2B will be delivered to meet, review, and discuss the lesson.
- Copy, adapt, and send out the sample letter for Caregivers/Parents/Guardians (link here)
- Please note: this is only a sample letter. It should be personalized to your school/district, aligned with prior communication to families about the curriculum, and lesson opt in/opt out procedures, if applicable.