This was the second webinar of the ICRC-S 2018-19 webinar series, Preventing Suicide by Promoting Social Connectedness: Promoting Connectedness for Youth through Social Networks and Sources of Strength. Sources of Strength is a universal suicide prevention program that builds protective factors and reduces the risk of suicide for vulnerable youth through a strengths-based focus on social connectedness and peer group norms. In this webinar, Dr. Peter Wyman, PhD, from the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester, reviewed research on the influence of school-based social networks to adolescent risk and protective factors for suicidal behaviors, discussed adolescent exposure to risk factors for suicide, and discussed how school-based social networks can be used to promote social connectedness and address adolescent relational needs. Dr. Wyman also reviewed research findings regarding the Sources of Strength impact on and through school-based networks. Scott LoMurray, Deputy Director, from Sources of Strength, provided an overview of Sources of Strength as an evidence-based universal upstream intervention, reviewed how diverse peer leaders and trusted adults use social connectedness as a protective factor to transform behavior and social norms at a school-wide level, and examined how the shared risk and protective factor framework and interventions like that of Sources of Strength can impact a variety of negative behaviors and outcomes. Presenters briefly reviewed replication of Sources of Strength with populations such as LGBTQ and Tribal youth, to promote social connectedness and positive group norms.
Sources of Strength website: https://sourcesofstrength.org/