IDAHO — Class is in session for many Treasure Valley schools and not only do students have to find their classes and their lockers, they have to navigate how to make friends and feel at home at their school. Avery Sterling, a sophomore at Capitol High School who has been involved in various organizations throughout school says she sees other students around her deal with extreme stress.
"I know a lot of friends who go to school, they're taking accelerated classes and they also go to work after school and they get home late and they have to help their parents with bills, like that sort of thing. A lot of us know that we want to go to college. College is very difficult to get into," said Avery Sterling, Capitol High School student.
Rick Jordan, principal of Park Ridge Elementary now says he worked on a program called Sources of Strength while he was the vice principal at Skyview High School in Nampa.
"We've had a huge uptick in suicide ideation and so we sat down and said well, let's try to do something about that," said Jordan.
The program focuses on creating connections, building resiliency, and positivity. Schools across Idaho have put the program into place after receiving grants. The students are trained to look out for certain characteristics of other students in the school who might be struggling.
"Our students ran different campaigns during the school year just to heighten awareness, um to make people feel welcome," said Jordan.
Sterling says if you need help, don't be afraid to reach out.
"If you're a new kid, try to find at least a buddy or someone that you feel comfortable around even if it's just a teacher, just on that first day to kind of just calm your nerves, get more into that zone so people can approach you," said Sterling.
If you would like more information, head to sourcesofstrength.org