Community Needs : Early Childhood Development, Education, Mental Health
This grant will pay for the Sources of Strength program which includes materials, recruitment and training for students and adults, a consultant on social media and one year of salary for a part-time faculty coordinator.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens. In the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD), 12% of students in grades 7-12 have considered suicide seriously enough to make a plan. Research shows that suicide rates decline when schools have a culture that encourages teens to talk to each other about mental health and to seek help from trusted adults when needed.
Sources of Strength, a nationally recognized program, provides training in cultivating supportive connections both among peers and with compassionate adults who are knowledgeable about mental health. The comprehensive program includes recruiting faculty, staff, and students from all social groups, and training them to talk openly about suicide and mental wellness. In addition, the team learns to identify and refer young people who may be at risk. The program also uses social media to communicate positive messages to disrupt the culture of silence around suicide and to encourage students to support each other in seeking help when needed.