Sandy Spring Friends School



Sources of Strength Wellness Program at SSFS

Sources of Strength Wellness Program at SSFS

The SSFS Counseling Department is excited to announce a new initiative in the Middle and Upper Schools focused on wellness and student leadership. Sources of Strength is a researched-based wellness program that “uses a strength-based and upstream approach to mental health promotion and prevention of adverse outcomes like suicide, violence, bullying, and substance misuse.” It has been listed in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) since 2011. Study results have shown many positive outcomes, including increases in connectedness to adults, increases in school engagement, and increases in acceptability of seeking help. 

Sources of Strength utilizes a network of Peer Leaders in grades 6-12 to spread messages of Hope, Help, and Strength and bring focus to the protective factors that are the Sources of Strength:

  • Family support
  • Positive friends
  • Mentors
  • Healthy Activities
  • Generosity
  • Spirituality
  • Medical Access 
  • Mental Health

With the guidance of a cross-divisional community team of faculty and staff Adult Advisors, the Peer Leaders sponsor wellness messaging campaigns and activities throughout the school year. 

The response from SSFS students has been enthusiastic and inspiring! Many students have stepped forward to take on the Peer Leader role. Through a process of self-nominations as well as peer and faculty nominations, we will have a group of approximately 50 Middle and Upper School Peer Leaders for the spring of 2023. The training of the Adult Advisors and Peer Leaders will take place on March 29 and March 30, respectively. Following the training, the Adult Advisors and Peer Leaders will meet 1-2 times a month to organize and launch the wellness initiatives. We will have additional Advisor and Peer Leader training sessions during the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years.

We can’t wait to see what our student leaders will accomplish through Sources of Strength!

If you have any questions, please reach out to the counselors:

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