Hilton High School launches Sources of Strength suicide prevention program

Research has shown a significant increase in mental health and emotional difficulties among school age children and adolescents. The results of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that was completed by Hilton High School students in spring 2017 supports this research. As part of a multipronged approach to address these social and emotional needs of students, Hilton High School is partnering with the University of Rochester (UR) to implement Sources of Strength, a nationally-recognized, research-based program that empowers students to find strengths within themselves and adult connections within the school and community that serve to protect them during difficult times.

Utilizing peer social networks, the program aims to change the help-seeking culture within the school community, making it acceptable for students to reach out to trusted adults for themselves and their friends in times of need. “Rather than focusing on risk factors, warning signs and stories of trauma, Sources of Strength takes an upstream approach to prevention by focusing on strengths, resiliency and connectedness,” said Jennifer Heilmann, prevention specialist with the UR Department of Psychiatry.