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Youth Suicide Prevention in Rural America National Webinar: SPRC and STIPDA Sources of Strength Mark LoMurray Director 701-471-7186 email@example.com. Network Positions. Peripherals. Bridges. Group Members. Central Members. Isolate. 2. Sources of Strength Description.
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National Webinar: SPRC and STIPDA
Sources of Strength
A program that trains both adult advisors and diverse peer leaders – with five follow-up action steps that take peer leaders/adult advisor teams three to four months to complete
Usually school-based, but faith, community, cultural is used.
The purpose is to reduce codes of silence and promote help seeking by teens to caring adults in their local school and community.
Started in ND in 1998, used extensively in a statewide campaign from 2000-2004. In 2005 the project received the national APHA Public Health Practice Award – epidemiology section
Rigorous randomized research is underway in 18 schools in GA, upstate NY, and ND through the University of Rochester, NY and University of South Florida.
Leaves rural and tribal communities feeling disempowered
Rural communities are often mental health shortage regions
A one way model that requests referrals to medical and mental health services, but generally does not refer back to village-based supports and strengths.
A focus on developing multiple sources of support
A strength-focused approach
Bring peers and adults together for prevention power
Use peer connections to change peer social norms about adult help seeking, strengths
Spread Hope, Help, Strength messages, not stories of trauma – local faces and voices
Awareness Phase -Engage leaders/ administrators
Identify and train key adult advisors (2-6 hr)
Train school or community staff (20 m – 1.5 hr)
Recruit peer leaders
Train peer leaders with adult advisors (3-4 hr)
Peer leaders with adult support begin 5 action steps (3-4 months)
Access to Mental Health
Access to Medical
Sources of Strength Schools
In high schools with adult staff training (QPR), peer leaders can be trained and implement ‘peer to peer’ messaging
Training increases Peer Leaders’ positive help-seeking attitudes, reduces ‘codes of silence’
Trained Peer Leaders refer more suicidal peers to adults for help (self-reported), unlike adult training which did not increase referral behaviors in high schools
A model that values village-based supports as highly as institutional services.
Intentional and strategic about using peer and rural connections to change social norms
Localize – create names, faces, of local supports on a small town, village, housing project level.
Move from just help seeking around suicide to include strength building behaviors, early emotional distress = caring conversations
Oniyape – home tracker model
Maniilaq Association, Alaska – letter writing
Hotlines – phone follow-up support
Sponsors – Mentors to provide ongoing support