Sources of Strength is…
A best practice youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. The mission of Sources of Strength is to prevent suicide through 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.
Since 2015, NAMI MC has implemented Sources of Strength at the following schools:
- Blake High School
- Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
- British International School of Washington
- Cabin John Middle School
- Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School
- Gaithersburg High School – English and Spanish
- Gaithersburg Middle School
- Springbrook High School
- Walt Whitman High School
- Walter Johnson High School
- Wootton High School
We have trained over 1000 students in the program. To learn more about Sources of Strength, you can visit www.sourcesofstrength.org. To learn about local implementation or to bring the program to your school, contact Julianne Grothe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAMI Ending the Silence
Helping middle and high schoolers understand mental illness makes a big difference. We can teach them about the warning signs for themselves and their friends. NAMI Ending the Silence helps raise awareness and change perceptions around mental health conditions.
Through this free classroom presentation, students get to see the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the 50-minute presentation, a young adult living with mental illness and a family member tell their stories about mental health challenges, including what hurt and what helped.
Why Ending the Silence Matters
- 1 in 5 kids experiences a mental health condition; only 20% of them actually get help
- About 50% of students ages 14+ with a mental health condition will drop out of school
- Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds
- The earlier the better: early identification and intervention provides better outcomes
What Your Students Get
Moving stories from positive role models have the power to change kids’ views. The discussion gives students the rare opportunity to ask questions about mental health challenges to people who have lived it. The presentation’s message of empathy and hope encourages students to actively care for themselves and their friends. It also teaches them it’s okay to talk about what they’re feeling. NAMI Ending the Silence covers:
- Early warning signs
- Facts and statistics about youth and mental health conditions
- When, where and how to get help for themselves or their friends
- When it’s not okay to keep a secret
What People are Saying
“I’m really grateful and glad that you talked to us. I often feel very alone or weird because many kids my age don’t understand. But, now I’m sure they would be more supportive of me.” -Student
“It is amazing what just one day, one talk can do. You never really know what’s going on in the brain of any particular student.” -Teacher
NAMI on Campus provides information and resources to support students living with mental health conditions and to empower them to take action on their campuses. This site also includes materials to help colleges in improving the academic and social experience of their students by addressing the mental health needs of all students. For more information, click here.