A school social worker and social work intern for Del Norte County, California’s Mental Health Service Professional (MHSP) demonstration grant are implementing a peer-led suicide prevention program, Sources of Strength, among high-risk youth at Sunset High School in Crescent City. The local United Indian Health Services has partnered with the school to support this program with assistance from a SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith suicide prevention grant. Numerous students embrace their roles in the program with enthusiasm, and there is even potential to “extend the pipeline” for new school mental health professionals down into their ranks.
Julie Slater North, MSW, manages the social work graduate program at Humboldt State University, and envisions a robust career pathway program for local K-12 students. “I am definitely excited about the possibility of building on this, particularly with the Sunset High Sources of Strength students.”
Del Norte County has now begun to extend the Sources of Strength program to a middle school and has even launched a new pilot for K-2 students in one elementary school in the 2021-22 school year.
Watch this 6-minute video to hear from the student leaders who are involved in this innovative program.