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What is Sources of Strength?
Sources of Strength is a strength-based, comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention but impacts other issues such as substance abuse and violence. The program is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of Peer Leaders mentored by Adult Advisors to change peer social norms about help seeking and encourages students to individually assess and develop strengths in their life.
Sources of Strength is most often implemented as a school-based program in middle school, high school, or college. However Sources of Strength is also often used in community, faith-based, and cultural settings. It promotes and focuses on connectivity, school bonding, peer-adult partnerships, and help seeking behaviors.
Trained peer leaders use their network of friends to:
Have one-on-one conversations.
Develop a Hope, Help, Strength messages using local faces and voices.
Present peer-to-peer presentations.
Would I make a good peer leader? Do I know someone who would be a good addition to the team?
We are especially interested in students from various different types of cliques and groups who have influence and sway with their peers within the school. This process is not a popularity contest. In fact, we want representation from the entire student body, including all styles, interests, characters, and personalities from all different types of social groups. Ideal participants are individuals who are natural leaders with specific influence within their group or clique. While this might include students who are already involved in leadership groups and activities, it also includes students who don’t typically join in on these kinds of activities, but in your opinion, have an influence amongst fellow students and would be prefect for this project.
Sources of Strength begins with an upbeat, fun, and interactive 4-hour training on becoming positive agents of social change within your school. The training of this peer leader group is followed by peer led activities designed to enhance positive school culture and help seeking attitudes of students, while promoting activities and behaviors that protect and support students during the normal ups and downs of life. The project is very positive and strength focused, making use of social media, art, drama, video, presentations, and fun activities that empower fellow students to develop a variety of supports and strengths in their own life and friendship groups.
The peer leaders in this project will not be trained as peer counselors but rather as agents of social change. This is why we are looking for students with a high level of influence amongst their peer group.
Is that YOU?! Email Ms. McDonald to sign up! firstname.lastname@example.org