Alameda Sources of Strength
Sources of Strength is an evidence-based best practice youth suicide prevention program designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. It is one of the first suicide prevention programs that uses Peer Leaders to enhance protective factors associated with reducing suicide at the school population level.
Each month Peer Leaders focus on one protective factor (strength) and design campaigns in which students school-wide can participate. This model of working with students strengthens protective factors around them so that when times get tough they have strengths to rely on.
The Sources of Strength program is run as an elective, and titled Choices (5th period for middle school students) or Peer Mentoring (7th period for high school students). Students in Peer Mentoring will spend most of their time mentoring Students with Significant Needs (SSN) in their respective classrooms as well as in Adaptive Physical Education. They will also spend one day a week planning lessons for SSN students for the week ahead. Students in Choices will spend time inside the classroom as well as other areas in and outside Alameda as they carry out campaigns that promote the Wheel of Strength.
Video: Peer Leaders Share the Mission Statement
Peer Leaders are a diverse group of individuals in grades 7-12 who use their personal and collective leadership qualities as well as their social influence to lead the charge in norming and culture change campaigns using strength-based messages to impact multiple issues, such as suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. All Peer Leaders were nominated by various staff members at Alameda.