The Roar

Stronger Together

Back to Article
Back to Article

Stronger Together

Students participate in the Sources of Strength program at Potomac Falls

For the first time, students and staff are participating in Sources of Strength, a suicide prevention program that motivates students to help their peers, as well as spread positivity, help, and strength.

“After someone attempts suicide, people come in and try to remediate the situation. But with sources of strength, it’s more like we are creating an environment in this school that is so strong and protective, that it stops people from reaching that point,” said school psychiatrist Maral Abooali.

Part of what Abooali is hoping to implement through Sources of Strength are various campaigns, including a “trusted adult” campaign.

“We’d have students in the school write down an adult that they trust and then with all those names we would make a visual representation in the school so that as students walk by they would see this big wall of trusted adults,” said Abooali. There may also be an “I Am Stronger” campaign where students in the program interview their peers about how they’ve gotten stronger.

According to sourcesofstrength.org, adult supported peer leaders have a positive impact on more students. The program was first implemented in North Dakota in 1998 but has spread across the country throughout the years, reaching Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and now, Virginia.

On Monday Dec 4, 76 students whose teachers recommended them to join in the program participated in a full day of training on. During training, they listened to lectures, had discussions, and played informational games, including one where two people were tied together but were unable to separate. This represented how hard it can be to get out of a situation that you’re tied down to. Junior Cesar Santisteban enjoyed the blend between educational and fun.

“Every time we played a game it was fun, but it was also very educational and we were able to understand what we can do [as sources of strength],” said Santisteban.

Part of the program involves members helping peers’ mental health through various “Sources of Strength.” Sources of Strength’s logo is a wheel or pie chart that is divided into each individual sources of strength, including family support, positive friends, mentors, healthy activities, generosity, spirituality, medical access, and mental health. At training, students, including junior Abigail Chillot, split into discussion groups to talk about their personal sources of strength.

“My sources of strength are probably generosity. Last year, I probably wouldn’t have said the same thing; I’m proud of that because lately I’ve been doing a lot more volunteering and giving up a lot more of my time. I also have good family support. Coming from divorced parents who are both remarried, I have a pretty big family,” said Chillot.

Though students have helped their peers through tough times in the past, this is the first time that they will be able to help through a school program.

“I’ve had to help people in the past deal with certain things, so me hearing about this and knowing that it’s actually coming to our school and that we can do something about it was very interesting,” said Santisteban.

With a group of bright, encouraging participants, Abooali is excited to bring Sources of Strength to Potomac Falls.

“I am just really excited about this program, and I think it has the potential to make a difference within our school. I have an amazing group of peer leaders, and I’m really excited for what they are going to do and they were all really pumped about it,” said Abooali.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Navigate Left
  • Stronger Together

    Other News

    You Can’t Cheat the System

  • Stronger Together

    Academics

    Going the Write Way

  • Stronger Together

    School News

    Spin It to Win It

  • Stronger Together

    Student Life

    The Last Straw

  • Stronger Together

    Student Life

    You’re In! These three seniors will be attending UVA next year

  • Stronger Together

    School News

    AP Capstone Comes to Potomac Falls

  • Stronger Together

    School News

    (Plastic) Drum Roll Please

  • Stronger Together

    Other News

    ‘The Dawn of a New Era in Human Spaceflight’

  • Stronger Together

    Opinions & Editorials

    Opinion: Northam Needs to Reconcile with Union Hill

  • Stronger Together

    Academics

    Freshman to Watch for Academics: Nimay Gordia

Navigate Right
The student news site of Potomac Falls High School