Sources of Strength rethinks mental health

Midlo seeks to target mental health through the Sources of Strength initiative


Photo by: Kyle Reeder

Sources of Strength, a new concept that seeks to reinvent how to work through student mental health, will be introduced to Midlo starting in the fall of the 2022-2023 school year. In the past, students sought out their school counselors and administrators to express their feelings, but now, a new initiative has been set in place to help ease student stress.

The core values of Sources of Strength help ensures positive mental health. (Photo by: Sources of Strength)

For the upcoming year, Sidekick coordinator and vice-principal, Dr. Denise Bowes is spearheading the new Sources of Strength program that will focus on the core values of family support, positive friends, mentors, healthy activity, generosity, spirituality, physical health and mental health. In doing so, students are provided with a reliable support network to talk about their problems.



Students volunteer their time to complete the Sources of Strength mural to promote the new initiative. (Photo by: Kyle Reeder)



Recently, a group of students working with the art department completed a Sources of Strength mural in the open commons, depicting a large tree that houses several of nature’s furry friends. On each branch, a shimmery gold paint inscribes the eight core values.


“Since the start of the school year, the Sources of Strength mural has been a great collaboration between Ms. Harrison in counseling and Honors Art students,” Midlo art teacher Ms. Kristen Joswick said. “Students signed up to work on the mural each Wednesday after school. Along with Ms. Harrison, they sketched and edited ideas, started painting their concept and added their own personal touches. I hope this mural remains in the open commons for many years to come–it’s a great showcase of Midlo Art students’ talent, compassion, and dedication to the well being of their community.”

Art students spend their Wednesdays after school painting the Sources of Strength mural. (Photo by: Kyle Reeder)

When students return from summer break, the Sources of Strength program will be in full swing.

“Sources of Strength is an upstream intervention program for students and adults.” Bowes said. “Students are four times more likely to help a peer who may be struggling with mental health because peers talk to peers.”  

Sources of Strength is a program aimed at “providing high quality evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse by training, supporting and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults to impact their world through the power of connection, hope, help and strength.” as mentioned from their website here. The program’s creators also “believe that many strengths are more powerful than one, and our united goal is to activate and mobilize these strengths in ways that positively change individuals and communities.”

This new initiative will help struggling students find their voice by making Midlo a more comfortable environment for sharing their emotions with their peers rather than administrative staff, thereby reinventing the student-counseling approach and bringing about a new sense in mental health awareness.