Sources of Strength is a suicide prevention project where peer leaders & adult advisors are trained to design & share Hope, Help, & Strength-based messages with other youth in the community to ultimately prevent suicide, bullying, & substance use.
In October 2019, the Howard County Health Department recruited over 50 high school students in Howard County to become Peer Leaders & advocates for mental health. The Sources of Strength program launched in November 2019. Peer Leaders & Adult Advisors participated in several hours of training in order to learn how to appropriately spread messages of hope in the community.
Peer Leaders & Adult Advisors meet 1-2 times a month. During these meetings, these advocates participate in icebreaker activities, learn about components of mental health advocacy, & plan for implementation of positive activities & messaging in the community.
The first Sources of Strength class graduated in June 2020. Over the course of the first year, 44 students representing 12 Howard County high schools participated in one or more meeting. These monthly meetings (virtual starting in April) included strength-building activities that focused on reducing stigma, developing empathy, reaching out to others, and sharing stories of strength and hope. Congratulations to the first class of graduates and thanks to all the adult volunteers who participated.
Follow us on social media to see what students are doing in the community!
Student interns also continued the Teen Health Matters Podcast to talk about Sources of Strength, mental health initiatives, & other related topics! Click here to listen!
Since launching Sources of Strength in November, Peer Leaders & Adult Advisors have been implementing a social media campaign called I Am Stronger.
This campaign allows participants & Howard County residents to become familiar with Sources of Strength & to see how others use their strengths!