Altru suicide prevention program donates $10,000 to Grand Forks school district

Funds from TEARS program to be used for suicide awareness and prevention.

The TEARS (Together we Educate About the Realities of Suicide) program has donated $10,000 to Grand Forks Public Schools for suicide awareness and prevention.

The grant, given through the Grand Forks Foundation for Education, will support the Sources of Strength, a best practice youth suicide prevention program designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying and substance abuse.

The grant funds will be used by lead adult advisers to purchase materials for the program at their schools.

The Sources of Strength program is active in each of the middle and high schools in the Grand Forks school district and, this year, it has been started at all elementary schools for grades 3, 4 and 5.

The TEARS program was established to support individuals and families who have lost a loved one to suicide and to provide education with the goal of preventing suicide in this region.


Geoff Gaukler, mental health coordinator for Grand Forks Public Schools, worked with Moriah Opp, TEARS coordinator, to secure the donation.

“On behalf of Grand Forks Public Schools, I would like to thank Altru TEARS for their generous donation,” Gaukler said in a news release. “This will provide support for our peer leaders and adult advisers who are working to spread messages of hope, help and strength throughout our schools, especially during these challenging times.”

The Sources of Strength mission is to prevent suicide by increasing help-seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults. Rather than a singular focus on risk factors, Sources of Strength uses an “upstream” approach, strengthening multiple sources of support around young individuals so that when times get hard, they have strengths to rely on.

The eight pillars of Sources of Strength are generosity, spirituality, medical access, mental health, family support, positive friends, mentors and healthy activities.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
What To Read Next
Get Local