Do you know what a Protective Factor is? Learn more inside!
Building Strengths and Protective Factors
We hinted at a slight change in direction in our newsletter last week so here's the first installment! Read on to learn about our new approach to building protective factors and upcoming training opportunities.
Introducing the Developmental Assets!
The Search Institute's Developmental Assets provide a well-researched framework for building strength and protective factors in youth, and across the lifespan! Divided into internal and external factors, each asset centers on building relationships, opportunities, values, or increasing social-emotional strengths -- all the things Upstream wants for our youth and neighbors!
What are Assets and Protective Factors?
You're probably familiar with the concepts of risk factors as they related to heart disease and also know that there are proactive steps you can do to help protect against heart disease. Did you know the same exists for substance use and suicide prevention?

In prevention science, we call those proactive steps to protect against problems are called protective factors; internal and external factors that help provide a protective bubble. Addressing these factors is the core approach to Moving Upstream, where we seek to have an impact at a root level and help protect against later challenges.

The 40 Developmental Assets provide a structured approach to building these protective factors, or assets in individuals. Each of their researched assets provides a way for parents/guardians, schools, community members, and community organizations to build up protection in our youth. As hard as the community may try, we will likely never remove all risk factors; but we can come together and build protective factors in all youth!
External Asset domains (represented above) include providing Support, Empowerment, setting Boundaries and Expectations, and engagement in Constructive Use of Time. Within these domains are 20 individual assets that adults can nurture. The external assets represent the supports, opportunities, and relationships young people need across all aspects of their lives, from the community, family, friends, and school environments.

Internal Asset domains (represented below) represent the personal skills, commitments, and values they need to make good choices, take responsibility for their own lives, and be independent and fulfilled. These include Commitment to Learning, Positive Values, Social Competencies, and building a Positive Identity.
Upstream will be exploring each of these assets in 2021, with guided learning and challenges for you to build assets in the youth and individuals around you. We'll dive into the individual asset within each domain, provide concrete ways you can build up these assets, and keep you up-to-date on all the exciting things happening with Upstream and the Coalitions. Stay tuned for our next e-Blast in April!
Upcoming Training & Events
Free Online Suicide Prevention Training
March 23rd, 10:00 a.m. - 12 Noon
Empower Johnson County
Share your insights with the Coalition!
Participate in the Community Perception Survey:
Suicide Prevention Coalition
March Meeting cancelled for Spring Break
Plan to join us on April 30th at 10:00 am
Meeting Link
This e-Blast is the first in our bi-weekly series exploring the Developmental Assets. If you'd like to dig in more yourself, you learn about all the great work The Search Institute is doing on its website. We hope you'll learn with us through these emails, our website, our social media pages, and eventually, plan to join us for a community training later this year!
Interested in Learning More?
Upstream Prevention, Inc.
3209 W Smith Valley Rd., Suite 250
Greenwood, IN 46142

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