Sources of Strength brings peer leadership training to Rock Canyon
HIGHLANDS RANCH – Sources of Strength, a national organization that trains staff and students to recognize the signs of suicidal idealization and other problems facing today’s youth recently visited Rock Canyon High School for a day of training.
Sources of Strength National Instructor Dan Adams said the training is really interactive, with a lot of games but also deals with serious topics like suicide and suicide prevention.
“What we do is to train students on how to be connectors to help, so if they have that [suicide] conversation, they’re going to connect with a trusted adult.”
With vigorous schedules and the added stress to perform and attend extracurricular activity, today’s students have a large load to carry.
“The stress that’s thrust upon us from outside parties, whether teachers, parents, or colleges, it’s hard to deal with and some don’t know outlets of where to go to, and they obsess over things that could end up badly,” said Rock Canyon High School Senior and Peer Leader Sam Henry.
Rock Canyon High School Psychologist Julia Richardson said using Peer Leaders is very helpful, since it’s a challenge to get students to open up to adults. “I think the biggest challenge is the fact that kids think that they can’t come to adults when they have something big going on and they just turn to their friends.” She added, “The whole idea is to train these kids to hear when kids are struggling and to encourage them or get them to an adult who can help them.”
Adams admits there is still a lot of work to be done, but using Peer Leaders as a driving force and an “agent of change,” schools can become an environment of healthy, positive thinking.
“Our vision at Sources of Strength is really that no one will ever get to that point of giving up, ever think about killing themselves, so this is a really proactive program on how can we prevent an onset of these things, by making the school a place of resiliency.”