Hillsboro High School is proud to announce the introduction of a new student-led advocacy program called ¨Sources of Strength¨ which is the first of its kind in the state of Illinois. The program, based on the idea of “upstream prevention” is founded on the idea of “promoting wellness, coping, connection, help-seeking, and protective factors that result in reduced negative downstream outcomes.”
In other words, the program emphasizes internal and external resources and employs social networking as support to assist struggling individuals long before they get to the waterfall edge and are really in harm’s way.
Founded by Mark Lomurray and based in Colorado, the program is designed to help young people find their “individual paths toward strength and resiliency” by learning to draw upon the sources of strength in their own lives as well as establishing new connections and resources to overcome the obstacles they face each and every day.
“We are incredibly proud to be the first high school in all of Illinois to put into motion this uniquely proactive system for suicide prevention and to work with community partners and sponsors including Hillsboro Area Hospital and SIUE School of Medicine who are so deeply invested in the well-being of our youth,” Hillsboro High School principal Patti Heyen said.
Proceeds from last year’s Hillsboro Area Health Foundation’s annual Valentine Gala helped provide funding for this program. This year’s virtual gala will continue to help support this programming at the high school level.
The Hillsboro Sources of Strength team consists of a small group of adult advisors on the HHS staff and a diverse group of students nominated by both their teachers as well as their peers.
After several hours of training that modeled the active learning and life-affirming messaging that form the foundation of the program, the HHS SoS team began mini-campaigns inviting all to share in their commitment to living, supporting, and inspiring a life of “health and hope” within the school and greater community.
The Sources of Strength peer leaders and adult advisors are looking forward to beginning their first major school-wide campaign in January.