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Sources of Strength

Funding Opportunity for School-based Suicide Prevention and Wellness Programs

Safe Communities is inviting schools and other youth-serving organizations in Dane County to participate in the implementation of Sources of Strength, a best practice youth mental health promotion and suicide prevention program.

Complete interest form here, or contact Leah Rolando at by Friday, March 29, 2024. Our team will get in touch with you within five (5) business days to discuss next steps!

Funding eligibility: any Dane county elementary, middle, or high school. Other agencies are eligible, but implementation may look different. Please reach out, and we’ll work with you to explore options!

Schools will receive: 100% coverage of first-year program implementation costs which include:
• training and materials
• first-year licensing fee
• training meals and venue cost (if needed)
• Adult Advisor stipends
• access to ongoing training and technical assistance
Technical assistance to secure funding to continue implementation beyond year one is also available.

Why Sources of Strength?
• Evidence-based program for increasing student mental health literacy, reducing stigma, and preventing suicide, violence, bullying, and substance misuse
• Designed to harness the power of peer social networks to create healthy norms and culture
• Track record of positive impact on overall school climate. As much as it is a student focused prevention program, the initiative is also a Staff Wellness model. It is not just helpful for young people – this is helpful for humans!

Over 300 schools or districts across Wisconsin have successfully implemented peer-to-peer student programs within the last 10 years with great results, and 3 area high schools in Dane County have joined the Sources of Strength initiative to date! In their 2023 Annual Report, the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health highlighted Sources of Strength as a leading school-based strategy for improving student wellness.

Here’s how it works:

Sources of Strength is a highly effective program that harnesses young people as immensely powerful change agents within their school communities.  Adult advisors coordinate ongoing meetings and evidence-based prevention strategies that focus on Hope, Help, Strength rather than shocking, traumatic, or sad messaging approaches.

Stanford REACH Lab Preventions & Interventions

Safety First: Comprehensive Drug Education & Intervention Lessons

Safety First is meant for High School students. This curriculum is particularly relevant for students already using, for students at-risk for using, and/or for students living in communities in which there are high levels of drug use. The curriculum is designed to be used in classrooms or group settings.

Drug education should be:

  • Scientifically accurate, providing accurate information about all drugs.
  • Interactive
  • Compassionate, taking into account that some youth will have used and/or sold drugs – or have close friends and family members who have.

Educating and empowering teenagers to make safe and healthy choices must be our highest priority. For more information about the Safety First Program, click here.

Interested in bringing these exciting programs to your school or youth-serving organization? Contact Project Manager Leah at


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Treatment Key

Safe communities has complied a list of abbreviation definitions for finding the right treatment for you.

MAT: Medication for Addiction Treatment.
OP: Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends. individual and group therapy, these can include or not include MAT.
IOP: Intensive Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends individual and extended groups, 9-12 hours a week.
Residential: person lives at the facility for a period of at least 14 days, some last as many as 45 days.
PHP: Partial Hospitalization Program is a structured mental health treatment program that runs for several hours each day, three to five days per week.
DBT: Dialectical behavior therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that integrates mindfulness techniques.