Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - 6

FOUNDATION FOCUS

Community and
peer leaders
gather during
the Start the
Conversation!
workshop at
Parrish Medical
Center.

CALL

Sources of Strength
A voice for youth mental health in North Brevard
North Brevard middle and high schools are using the power of
peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and cultures
with Sources of Strength. The program's mission is to prevent
suicide by increasing help-seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults.
Since the program's implementation in 2015, more than 350 peer
leaders and adult advisers have been leveraging their social influence
and personal and combined leadership talents to lead the charge in
spreading strength-based messages.
Peer leaders, diverse students from various areas and cultures
of their schools and communities, and adult advisers spread hope,
help and strength in the community. With life's many ups and
downs, they realize that their voices have great power and can be
used to break the silence.
Bailey Ferguson, a Sources of Strength peer leader, is amazed
at the changes she has witnessed and participated in at her
school. "Being a peer leader has changed my perspective on mental health," she says. "I have learned how to talk with people that
may be going through a difficult situation and not know where to
turn for help. As a peer leader, I am able to make connections to

6

FAL L 2 0 1 8

Join the
Conversation
For more information about
Sources of Strength and suicide
prevention among youths, call
Jess Parrish Medical Foundation
at 321-269-4066.

adults that can help.
Emotional bonds are
being created and
students are now
seeking out teachers when they need to talk."
The importance of reaching out for help is being promoted
by the North Brevard Youth Mental Health Task Force. At
Parrish Medical Center, the group held a community workshop
on youth mental health and suicide prevention called Start the
Conversation! with Mark LoMurray, founder and president of
Sources of Strength, as the keynote speaker. As evidenced by
the leaders attending this event, the community is focused on
suicide prevention and committed to helping youths rely on their
strengths in times of need. The Youth Mental Health Task Force,
co-led by Lori Duester, Louis Joseph, MD, and Liz Mikitarian, and
all community leaders who attended the workshop are dedicated
to using their voices to start the conversation.
The Sources of Strength program in North Brevard, sponsored
by Jess Parrish Medical Foundation, is the first of its kind in Florida.
It is currently in five Brevard secondary schools and growing. ■



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Parrish Medical Center

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Cover3
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