Sources of Strength: Returning for a Second Year

After struggling to get off the ground this year, Sources of Strength is planning for a strong second year.


courtesy of Sources of Strength

Peer Leaders bonded in the Sources of Strength training.

Sources of Strength is off to its second year at Dominion, and they have already run into some bumps in the road. Many changes came to Dominion this year that have affected the program, such as Ms. Smith, who was in charge of Sources of Strength, going to Independence, and clubhouse no longer existing. Ms. Segal, the school psychologist, has taken up the role of leader of Sources of Strength this year.

Sources of Strength struggled to get off their feet a little bit this year, as it started on October 3rd, which is three weeks after the start date last year, due to the aforementioned transitions from the previous year. Despite this later start, Segal has expressed that there is a lot of excitement surrounding the program, “I know that there’s a lot of excitement. I’ve been hearing a lot of kids coming and teachers coming and asking what are we getting started, you know, people are really excited about it.”

Segal explained the role that Sources of Strength will take this year at Dominion. She said, “We’re going to really try and focus on getting at least four to six really strong campaigns this year, and try to keep them organized.” 

Sources of Strength is also working to solve some of the problems that they ran into as a program last year. As Ms. Kittleson, a teacher advisor, explained, “We started to figure out that we had kids going in one direction, and kids going in the other and projects weren’t cohesive. So this year, we’re definitely meeting only in the mornings.”

The lack of clubhouse this year presents a problem for the program. Ms. Segal explained how the program is working to solve this gap, “One idea that was suggested was maybe pushing into Titan Times, to do a very brief lesson.” Ms. Kittleson also expressed the idea too, “maybe do some things in the morning before school starts.”

The goals of Sources of Strength remain the same. “They’re always promoting those help-seeking behaviors among students, always breaking down the code of silence surrounding mental health and mental health needs,” Segal said.

Ms. Winfree, a new counselor this year and adult advisor, said, “I think just spreading as much information as possible school and having conversations with the entire student body that lead to better understanding about mental health in general.”

The program has also changed when it comes to the individuals involved in the program. Segal said, “We actually have a really nice mix this year of about half or a little bit more than half of the students who are returning from last year,” adding, “similar [to] our adult advisors, there’s going to be new folks and some returning folks.” 

One of these new staff members involved with Sources of Strength this year is Ms. Winfree, one of the new counselors. Winfree said, “I do a lot of things related to suicide prevention and screening. I know factors and ways to help students be more resilient when it comes to ideation and those things.” She also added that, “DHS as a whole, are able to gain a stronger understanding of the things in their lives that are there to support them.”