In a continued effort to support learners struggling with depression and mental health concerns, Tecumseh High School is introducing the Sources of Strength Project.
Sources of Strength encourages peer leaders to connect distressed or suicidal friends with supportive, caring adults so they can get the help they need. The project is designed to work with the school’s existing suicide prevention and peer leadership programs and connect learners to support within their peer group.
“We want to engage learners across grade levels and interests to be sure that each learner network is represented. We want all learners to have at least one friend they can count on to understand what they are going through, listen and connect them to adult assistance,” said Jennifer Morgan THS guidance counselor. “It’s important that teens recognize symptoms of depression and know suicide risk factors, because they usually notice when something doesn’t seem right with one of their friends before anyone else.”
Morgan said Sources of Strength is working to change the perceptions of teen mental health.
“Traditionally, we see posters with an image of a teen in crisis in a dark alley with a hotline number to call,” she said. “When in reality, so many teens have the outward appearance of being happy and successful, but are struggling with mental illness. They are looking for someone who is willing to listen without telling them they have no reason to be sad, anxious or depressed.”
Representatives from Sources of Strength will be at THS on Tuesday, Nov. 5 to present orientation and training to participating staff and learners.
“We already have 14 staff members and 30 student volunteers who are interested in attending the training and are seeking other learners who want to serve as advocates for their classmates,” Morgan said. “Once the project is established at the high school, we will begin to introduce it to our 7th and 8th grade learners at the STEAM Centers.”
Learners interested in participating should contact Mrs. Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.