Sources of Strength: A New Initiative at Youville Centre

March 4th, 2016

Sources of Strength is a strength based, evidence-informed wellness program used by high schools for suicide prevention awareness. The program’s mission is:

to prevent suicide by increasing help seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults. 

Sources of Strength utilizes students as peer leaders. Students are trained in the program, and they use their leadership skills and relationships with their peers to share positive messages through group discussions, artwork, videos, and other interactive projects and activities.

Since Youville Centre is a smaller, more specialized school setting, we have been permitted to customize Sources of Strength to better address the unique needs of young mothers we serve, and to allow that all students can participate, rather than a smaller, more targeted group. Thus far, two Youville moms have participated in a suicide prevention forum with students from other schools here in Ottawa. This experience gave them a voice and increased motivation to participate on-site as student leaders.

To begin implementing Sources of Strength at Youville Centre, we held a workshop for staff and students on Monday, February 22nd. Facilitators led the training, and staff and students enjoyed icebreakers, games and activities which helped to build personal connections. As you can see by the lively photos above, Sources of Strength focuses heavily on positivity and connectedness. Staff and students thoroughly enjoyed the meaningful discussions and fun activities at the workshop.

Moving forward, our on-site mental health and addiction counsellors will be facilitating the student-led group in planning activities and reaching out to their peers.

You can find out more about Sources of Strength by viewing the video below, or visiting their website at: https://sourcesofstrength.org/