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Article: Mariemont City Schools Begin Sources of Strength Program

Mariemont City Schools Begin Sources of Strength Program


Sources of Strength Training Photo Gallery

The Mariemont City School District launched its new Sources of Strength program for the 2018-19 school year with its staff and student trainings Aug. 7-9.
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.

“I am very excited to be launching the Sources of Strength programs in our district” said Director of Student Services Tricia Buchert. “With the rise of teen suicides and mental health concerns in our country, we wanted to implement a program that could help change the climate in our schools. The reason we chose Sources of Strength was its focus on positivity, prevention and the impact that can have on our students.”

The new peer-to-peer program, which will be initiated at both Mariemont High School and Mariemont Junior High School, will be facilitated by a group of student leaders and adult advisors. The students will meet bi-monthly to coordinate campaigns designed to encourage, uplift and educate the entire student body on where to find support systems and how to build into their strengths.

Over 20 staff members from both schools volunteered to be adult advisors for the Sources of Strength program while over 60 students grades 8-12 were selected by their peers as the student leaders.

Sources of Strength was developed in 1998 and has since been implemented in 30 states. In 2009, it was listed on the National Best Practices Registry by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). In 2011, Sources of Strength was listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry for Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), the gold standard of prevention programs 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

The Mariemont City School District would like to thank the 1-N-5 organization and the Mariemont Foundation which fund Sources of Strength through proceeds from the annual Warrior Run.

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