Garrison Middle School Sources of Strength peer leaders received their new “HOPE” shirts promoting the international suicide prevention program. The Walla Walla County Department of Community Health, under the guidance of Behavior Health Prevention Specialist Peggy Needham, purchased the t-shirts using grant money from the Washington State Health Care Authority for the students to promote the program. The focus of the Sources of Strength program is to increase hope, help and strength on campuses and communities.
This school year Garrison student leaders have participated in several campaigns aimed at breaking down stigma around mental health including a “thankfulness challenge” and “positive friends”. These campaigns increase connections and build resiliency in students by identifying positive strengths that they can turn to when they are struggling, including teachers and staff.
“The kids plan to participate in the Reach Out Walla Walla Suicide Prevention Walk May 10th at 7 PM at Walla Walla High School, and the Strength Conference on Saturday, June1, 2019 and will be wearing the t-shirts for those events,” said Garrison Middle School Counselor Angie Gardea who is advising her school’s student leaders.
Garrison students are planning their next campaign. They plan to create a flower "garden" with the petals featuring messages written by students reflecting on the positives things that happened during the school year.
“The messages will include statements about who is the most important person to them, the best thing about this year and nice messages to friends,” said Gardea. “The flower garden will have a silhouette blowing bubbles and the bubbles will be nice messages to our incoming 6th graders.”