Sources of Strength Secondary is a best practice youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. The mission of Sources of Strength is to prevent suicide by increasing help seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults. Sources of Strength moves beyond a singular focus on risk factors by utilizing an upstream approach for youth suicide prevention. This upstream model strengthens multiple sources of support (protective factors) around young individuals so that when times get hard they have strengths to rely on.
Sources of Strength was founded upon a vision to move upstream in the prevention cycle. Increasing resiliency, connection, help seeking, belonging, protective factors, and healthy coping allows us to have a much more comprehensive approach to prevention. This is a model where wellness is the goal, and prevention is an outcome of that goal.
Sources of Strength has shown that increasing protective factors and building up individual strengths help to reduce risk of suicide, as well as multiple other adverse outcomes
Sources outcomes show increases in help seeking, connectedness, and trust towards adults. Sources Peer Leaders have been shown to be 4x more likely to connect a friend who is struggling to the help they need and deserve.
Effective postvention is effective prevention. Sources of Strength teams can be utilized in the aftermath of a loss to help identify students and staff that might be struggling, as well as help the community as a whole move through tragedy in a way that is helpful and healing.
Sources of Strength Model
Caring | Connected | Positive
Influence within Social Group
Engage | Interact | Apply
Positive | Social | Norming
Buy-in Adult & Peer Leader Recruitment
Meet within ten days. Meet twice a month. 5-6 messaging campaigns per year.
Adult Advisor Training
Peer Leader Training
Adult Advisors are made up of a diverse group of connected, caring, and positive local adults who support, mentor, and assist Peer Leaders in spreading Hope, Help, and Strength-based messages across their friendship networks.
Sources of Strength Secondary Program offers a comprehensive Trainer the Trainer process, incorporating a four-day Train the Trainer Advanced Skills Session, six required co-trainings, and official Trainer Certification in the history, philosophy, curriculum, implementation, and fidelity of the Sources of Strength program.