North Dakota Based Suicide Prevention Program Expands Programming to Classrooms Across North Dakota


Caring Foundation partners with Sources of Strength to provide suicide prevention programs to North Dakota schools 

Navigating new obstacles

All of us have navigated new obstacles this year as COVID-19 has changed our priorities and challenged our normal routines. This rings true especially for students struggling through their day to day lives. As a national evidenced-based suicide prevention program, founded in Mandan, ND, Sources of Strength emphasizes that no student should feel hopeless or alone. Sources of Strength uses tools such as connectivity, school bonding and peer-adult partnerships to change unhealthy norms and culture—ultimately preventing suicide, bullying and substance abuse.

The unfortunate consequence of safe social distancing is isolation from peers and a decrease of essential interactive experiences. This takes a big toll on kids. Loneliness, worries, anxiety and stress are at an all-time high and unfortunately, many kids were experiencing these before the pandemic and are likely struggling even more now driving an increased need for the Sources of Strength program.

Standing up against the stress of life

BCBSND Caring Foundation partners with Sources of Strength to help rural schools fund the training and curriculum costs of implementing the program. This year, BCBSND Caring Foundation is covering the expenses for a statewide North Dakota elementary school coaches training program. Through this program, Sources of Strength will provide training for up to 50 coaches expanding programming into third and fifth grade classrooms across North Dakota in the 2020-21 school year.

“Bettering the health and well-being of North Dakotans is BCBSND Caring Foundation’s mission. Children are the future and having the resources and tools to be able to keep them safe and well supported is so crucial. BCBSND Caring Foundation is honored to help ensure these young individuals have the resources and strength to get back up when life knocks them down,” Pam Gulleson, BCBSND Caring Foundation Executive Director shared.

Promoting positivity
Sources of Strength takes a holistic approach to their program ensuring that every student is involved. By working in teams, positive interactions and connectivity are promoted throughout the school. Campaigns, team activities and positive messaging help drive the participation from each student to achieve a collaborative goal of spreading hope, health and strength.  

Sources of Strength Support Coordinator Cody Sletten states, “The Sources of Strength elementary model continues our commitment to moving further upstream, increasing health and wellness, and decreasing negative downstream outcomes through empowering individuals and communities full of connection, belonging and resilience. We would like to thank the Blue Cross Blue Shield North Dakota Caring Foundation for their commitment to improving the social and emotional well-being of the youth of North Dakota.”

Click here to learn more about Sources of Strength.