Be kind to your mind

 A wheel of eight colors, representing the eight sources of strength promoted by peer leaders of the club, created by Mark LoMurray.

Used with permission from Sources of Strength

A wheel of eight colors, representing the eight sources of strength promoted by peer leaders of the club, created by Mark LoMurray.

Eva Montgomery

Sources of Strength is a national club that focuses on preventing suicide at the school level. It uses students, known as peer leaders, who advocate for all students to seek help from others when they need it. These students are chosen by teachers who are looking for those with leadership skills in a non-popular way.

Kiara Brown-Turnbow, SENIOR, who many teachers know because she sends an email containing happy wishes every Friday, is a peer leader for Sources of Strength at WHHS. She has been a part of the club since the beginning. 

“When I did the sticky notes and emails for the teachers, I felt like I could do more with sources of strength as a group,” Kiara Brown-Turnbow said, 23’.“ I know a lot of people have a lot of things going on and want to heal, so it’s cool to help people out when they’re not doing the best and to spread positivity. “

Another peer leader, Zack Ball 24’, has also been in Sources of Strength since the beginning. 

“It is nice to have a group of positive people who have the same goals of mental health and dealing with stress, and to help each other out along the way,” Ball said.

Sources of Strength has grown to more than 250 schools and community centers in 20 states. It was started in North Dakota by a man named Mark LoMurray in 1988. LoMurray specializes in suicide and bullying prevention, to spread hope. 

According to The Christian Science Monitor, “It isn’t just the negative stuff that is contagious,”  LoMurray said.”

The program teaches students eight strengths: family support, positive friends, spirituality, healthy activities, medical access, mentors, mental health, and generosity. 

“It helps to make everyone feel better about themselves and be a nicer person overall,” Grayson Vaughn, ‘28, a member of Sources of Strength said. 

At WHHS, the club Bring Change to Mind ,a more general mental health based group, was replaced by Sources of Strength when the state chose to sponsor Sources of Strength instead. 

This club is open to all grade level students who are chosen by teachers. The JH students involved with the club are working on a mental health campaign poster board for their next meeting. 

“The club is to make people more aware of the situations other people are in and recognize and help them,” Mick Burke, 28’, another club member said.

This organization includes a field trip once a year for training. These trainings entail getting to know each other through games, group activities, and lessons on mental health. It prepares students for their role as a peer leader.

Laura Brogden is a teacher here at WHHS who has taken a special interest in the club as an advisor. She has been an advisor for Sources of Strength since last year.

“The Sources of Strength name is because we want people to identify their strengths before they are in a mental health crisis,” Brogden said, “because the better you know where you can turn when things go wrong, the less hopeless you feel.”