Nixa High School Explores Sources of Strength

   Sources of Strength (SOS) is a universal suicide prevention program for  anyone struggling with mental, physical or emotional health in nearly every state. The main focus of SOS is to build resources and influences to ensure vulnerable youth does not become suicidal. SOS trains students to become peer leaders, a resource for students in schools to ask for help when they’re confused or struggling. Sophomore Keturah Flokstra said there is a  procedure for peer leaders in Sources of Strength. 

   “At the beginning of the year I got an email with a permission slip type of thing,” Flokstra said. “Teachers noticed that I had connections throughout the school, that I was an extrovert pretty much.” 

   As Sources of Strength continues to grow and build resources, they gather more students to become peer leaders and resources for students around them. The  core focus is to build healthy habits, regardless of struggles going on inside of people’s lives. Flosktra said that SOS has impacted her life significantly. 

   “When we were talking about generosity, and how it can make you feel good as a person,” Flosktra said. “I said to myself, I should be giving back to my community more and this is a great way to do that.” 

   At Nixa High School, a way to celebrate mental,emotional and physical health is Wellness Wednesday. Along with that, Flokstra  gave an experience she had being a peer leader. 

   “A girl in my STAR class was definitely having a rough time,” Flokstra said. “She knew I was a peer leader and asked to speak to me, and I was able to point her in the right direction. I think she’s doing a lot better now.” 

   Peer leader for SOS Junior Tyler Upton-Rowley spoke about  how SOS has affected him and the people around him, as well. 

   “ Being a peer leader has affected my life because it has taught me so many things that have helped improve my mental, social, and physical health,” Upton-Rowley said. I always thought I understood what those things were and that I was doing okay in them, but being a peer leader has really opened my eyes to how much I really needed this, and I want to share that knowledge with others.” 

   Upton-Rowley gave advice to those who may be currently struggling, as well.

   “Turn to a trusted person in your life, and just talk about your struggles,” Upton-Rowley said. The high school has many amazing counselors who are trained professionals in helping people overcome struggles, and therefore are a great source of information and comfort.”