School Suicide Prevention Program

The School Communities Program consists of four elements: Sources of Strength, Sources of Strength train the trainer, gatekeeper training and connectedness and capability strategies.

At the core of the Idaho Lives Project (ILP) and its School Communities Program is Sources of Strength. Sources of Strength is an ongoing, strength-based, comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention, but also impacts other issues such as substance abuse and violence. This evidence-based program, centered on hope, help and strength, is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of peer leaders mentored by adult advisors to change peer social norms about help seeking and encourages students to individually assess and develop strengths in their lives.

Beginning in 2014 through 2018, ILP will bring the Sources of Strength program into seven cohorts of Idaho high schools and middle schools/junior high schools.

School Cohort Training Schedule

  • Cohort 1: March 2014
  • Cohort 2: October 2014
  • Cohort 3: March 2015
  • Cohort 4: October 2015
  • Cohort 5: March 2016
  • Cohort 6: December 2016 - March 2017
  • Cohort 7: September 2017 - March 2018

Five to twelve schools will be selected for each cohort through an application process. Schools are selected based on demonstrated need, readiness to benefit, level of interest and commitment, needs of special populations and geographic location.

Schools trained in Cohort 1 training were:

  • Priest River Lamanna High School, Priest River
  • Lapwai Middle High School, Lapwai
  • Parma High School, Parma
  • Parma Middle School, Parma
  • Nampa High School, Nampa
  • Silver Creek Alternative High School, Hailey
  • Salmon Middle-High School, Salmon
  • Teton High School, Driggs

Schools trained in Cohort 2 training were:

  • Emmett High School, Emmett
  • Homedale High School, Homedale
  • Frank Church High School, Boise
  • Pocatello High School, Pocatello
  • Preston Jr. High School, Preston
  • Preston High School, Preston
Schools trained in Cohort 3 training were:
  • Kellogg High School, Kellogg
  • Canyon-Owyhee School Services Agency, Wilder
  • Caldwell High School, Caldwell
  • Eagle Academy High School, Eagle
  • Lowell Scott Middle School, Boise
  • Rimrock Jr/Sr High School, Bruneau
  • Declo High School, Delco
  • Shoshone-Bannock Jr/Sr High School, Fort Hall
Schools trained in Cohort 4 were:
  • Parkview/Ridgeline High School, Nampa
  • Cassia Jr/Sr High School, Burley
  • Burley Jr. High School, Burley
  • Mt. Harrison High School, Heyburn
  • West Minico Middle School, Paul
  • Minico High School, Rupert
  • Total Learning Center, Rupert
School sponsored for Cohort 4 to be trained in fall 2015 is:
  • Rocky Mountain High School, Meridian
Schools selected for Cohort 5 to be trained in spring 2016 are:
  • Homedale Middle School, Homedale
  • Compass Public Charter School, Meridian
  • Challis Jr/Sr High School, Challis
  • Sandpoint High School, Sandpoint
  • Lakes Middle School, Coeur d'Alene
  • Compass Academy, Idaho Falls
  • Shelley HIgh School, Shelley
  • Hobbs Middle School, Shelley
Schools selected for Cohort 6 to be trained in fall 2016 - spring 2017 are:
  • Clark Fork Jr/Sr High School,  Clark Fork
  • Meridian Academy High School, Meridian
  • North Fremont High School, Ashton
  • Potlatch Jr/Sr High School, Potlatch
  • Skyline High School, Idaho Falls
  • Rigby Middle School, Rigby
  • Boise High School, School, Boise
  • Sandpoint Middle School, Sandpoint
  • Emmett Middle School, Emmett
  • East Minico Middle School, Rupert
  • Vision Charter School, Caldwell

Cohort 7 schools to be trained under the grant from the Division of Public Health in fall of 2017:

  • New Horizon Center, Pocatello
  • Owyhee Combined School, Duck Valley Reservation
  • Heritage Academy, Jerome
  • Marsing Middle School, Marsing
  • North Junior High School, Boise
  • Lakeside Jr/Sr High School, Plummer
  • Pathways Middle School, Meridian
  • Rivervue Middle School, Caldwell
  • Centennial High School, Boise
  • Rigby Hgh School, Rigby
Two school trainings as a part of cohort 7 are sponsored by the region 4 chapter of the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho:
  • Cascade Jr/Sr High School, Cascade
  • Horseshoe Bend Middle/Sr. High School, Horseshoe Bend

Cohort 5 was the final cohort of schools to be trained with funding from the original federal grant.  Thank you to all schools for your interest and effort put into the application process. 

ILP  reached 38 schools during its three-year federal grant cycle; however, the need for the Sources of Strength program is much more wide-spread. With need for sustainability in mind, ILP is developing and supporting a statewide cadre of Idaho trainers to participate in the Sources of Strength train the trainer program. Through this process, Idaho trainers, once certified, can continue to provide Sources of Strength to more schools throughout Idaho.

Gatekeeper training is basic suicide prevention training that includes how to recognize and talk to those at risk for suicide and get them help. Trainings also include basic information about suicide and the suicidal mind, suicide warning signs and risk factors, and information for and about suicide survivors (those who have lost a loved one to suicide).

Through ILP’s School Communities Program, gatekeeper training including an overview of Sources of Strength is provided to all school staff at participating cohort schools, and to the schools’ communities. Special consideration and materials will be presented and available at all gatekeeper trainings for special populations. This includes information relating to minority races, non-English speakers, individuals identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and others. Specific information will also be provided for suicide survivors. ILP will also fund suicide survivor support group facilitators to attend special facilitator training provided by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Research has shown that children who feel a sense of belongingness/connectedness and who feel capable are more resilient and at lower risk for all types of risky behavior including suicide. Extensive research also shows that those who complete suicide feel that they do not belong/are not connected to others and, in fact, believe themselves to be a burden to those around them. ILP believes that critical, upstream prevention efforts must include strategies and activities focused on developing connectedness and feelings of capability among young children.

ILP seeks to foster connectedness and capability among children through the compilation, development and distribution of connectedness and capability strategies and materials. Strategies and materials will be available online to all schools. Special outreach will be made to the feeder schools of all participating ILP cohort schools.