The Sources of Strength program

Preventing Suicide With A ‘Contagion Of Strength’
February 25, 2015
http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/02/25/385418961/preventing-suicide-with-a-contagion-of-strength

“I think we overlook the stress of being social,” says Noah Braunstein, a senior. “Finding that group you fit in with is hard …”

This emphasis on strengths is what Sources of Strength is all about: promoting positive behaviors in teens.

The curriculum is rooted in eight “strengths” – factors that research has shown are protective against suicide risk.

eight strengths: family support, positive friends, spirituality, healthy activities, medical access, mentors, mental health and generosity.

Teens are highly influenced by their peers – social development, peer acceptance and personal identity are all part of growing up. Researchers note that adolescents look to their peers to define acceptable ways to deal with problems.

any sustained effort must include adults talking with kids: making students part of the the intervention and not the target of it.

“The biggest prevention piece that’s out there is connection. When kids feel connected to somebody or their environment they’re going to make fewer risky decisions, “

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