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Sources of Strength is a strengths-based suicide prevention and wellness program recognized within SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). As an upstream program, Sources of Strength is truly preventive and effectively leverages peer leaders and adult advisors to positively shift school culture.  

Sources of Strength encourages members of a school community to identify their personal strengths and recognize any gaps in eight categories of protective factors including: 

  • Family support, positive friends, mentors, healthy activities, generosity, spirituality, physical health, and mental health

Through strategic messaging campaigns, youth interact with and apply these strengths, become more connected and resilient when they face challenging times, and are more likely to seek help when they struggle with anger, anxiety, sadness, or depression.  
According to Sources of Strength, schools report the following outcomes in youth participants:  

  •  Increased connectedness to adults  

  • Increased school engagement  

  • Increased likelihood of referring a suicidal friend to an adult

  • Increased positive perceptions of adult support

  • Increased acceptability of seeking help

  • Largest increases amongst students with a history of suicide ideation

Sources of Strength aligns with several domains of work from the Indiana Department of Education’s Whole Child Implementation Checklist. The program’s strategic messaging campaigns have the potential to highlight and amplify students’ understanding of the seven Social-Emotional Competencies identified as part of the Indiana Department of Education’s School Mental Health Initiative. 

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