Blog

Big News Out of New Mexico

This is big! Legislation on background checks is moving in New Mexico. On February 4, HB 50 and SB 48 passed a first committee vote in both chambers of the New Mexico legislature, and they are gaining momentum. Now is the time to get organized and add your voice.

 

Sandy Hook Promise is proud to support HB 50 and SB 48 to require background checks on all gun sales. These bills would close the loopholes in New Mexico law that allow criminals to easily bypass the system by purchasing firearms without a background check from unlicensed sellers, at gun shows or online from strangers. We know that universal background checks work and that, if passed, this legislation will help save lives. There will be a lot of work to do over the coming months to get these bills across the finish line.

 

That’s why we are starting now by adding all of our voices in support of this critical legislation. Can you please make a quick call to your state representative and senator now and ask them to support HB 50 and SB 48? You can click here to find your local representatives.

Here are some talking points for your calls:

  • First, say your name and that you're a constituent.
  • Then, explain that you support HB 50 and SB 48 to pass universal background checks in New Mexico.
  • HB 50 and SB 48 are commonsense bills that will protect the Second Amendment rights of New Mexico residents while ensuring that people who simply should not have firearms, including felons and domestic abusers, cannot easily access them.
  • That's it!

 

We know that policy and political progress can often feel slow and difficult. Remaining strong and active in our states and local communities is so important. We really believe that together we can pass this important legislation for New Mexico and help prevent gun violence before it happens.

Laws That Allow for Temporarily Removing Guns from High-Risk People Linked to a Reduction in Suicides

 gov_malloy.jpg

For every 10.5 guns collected under Connecticut’s gun violence restraining orders, one person was stopped from taking his or her own life, researchers estimate. Eleven states are considering similar policies.

Read more

Sandy Hook Promise Announces Winners for its Say Something Call-to-Action Week

We're proud to announce the winners of our second annual Say Something Call-to-Action Week. The proven Say Something program teaches youth and adults the signs of at-risk behavior and how to properly intervene before someone hurts themselves or someone else. The call-to-action week invites schools and communities across the country to teach youth and teens how to be “upstanders” in their community instead of being bystanders.

From October 24th through the 28th, SHP hosted its 2nd Annual Say Something Call-to-Action week. Hundreds of middle schools and high schools in 49 states participated in engaging weeklong activities. To galvanize the schools to make the program and activities their own, a contest was held. The schools that went above and beyond to incorporate the core values of Say Something into their school culture, as well as the community at large, are now being rewarded for all of their hard work. This year, SHP has expanded its awards to three categories, which include the grand prize, as well as awards for those who demonstrated student spirit and creativity and community outreach.   

The Say Something grand prizewinner for 2016 is Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley, CA, as student ambassadors took full ownership of planning and executing a series of events throughout the week to galvanize students. They created posters, decorated the campus, ran lunchtime activities, created and produced videos for school-wide broadcasts which opened up dialogue in the classrooms, sent a letter to parents informing them of the program and encouraging conversation at home, and ran an Instagram campaign and competition to engage students via social media, among other events. All of their students participated in at least one Say Something activity during the week. Steele Canyon High School also received an honorable mention during last year’s call-to-action week and has sustained Say Something throughout the year. As the grand prizewinners, the students will receive a Say Something plaque, a personal visit from SHP with media and a videographer, Promise Club Seed Money in the amount of $2,500, mention and recognition on SHP’s social media channels and related materials.

The winners of Say Something Student Spirit, Creativity and Sustainability and the Say Something Community Reach and Sustainability categories are Dutchtown High School in Hampton, GA and Harvest Middle School in Napa, CA respectively.

Dutchtown High School’s Peer Mediation Team took the lead on energizing their peers by setting up a table in the commons area/lunchroom to educate students about the Say Something program. They encouraged students to take the pledge of looking for warning signs and acting immediately if they see or hear something by telling a trusted adult or by writing an anonymous note and dropping it into a Say Something box in the counseling office, which will remain for the rest of the year. The Peer Mediation team also went into classrooms to discuss bullying and how students can report school violence.

Harvest Middle School not only held events at their school, but also expanded its reach to the community by setting up a table at the school’s fall festival where parents and community leaders also learned about Say Something. Leading up to the festival, student leaders planned all of the events and created PowerPoints, videos, padlets and activities. Student leaders also created a photo booth for students, as well as took a photo with ¾ of the school in the shape a heart that was shared via social media. It was the first time the school had done anything like that.

For being the winners of the Say Something Student Spirit, Creativity and Sustainability and Say Something Community Reach and Sustainability categories, Dutchtown High School and Harvest Middle School each will receive a Say Something plaque, a personal visit from SHP with media and a videographer, Promise Seed Club Money in the amount of $1,000 and mention on SHP’s social media channels and related materials.

The runners up for the Say Something Student Spirit, Creativity and Sustainably Award are: John Reed Middle School in Redding, CT and Harding/Garfield Middle School in Lakewood, OH, and the runners up for the Say Something Community Reach and Sustainably Award are: Clark Lane Middle School in Waterford, CT and Medina High School in Medina, OH. Each of these schools will receive a Say Something plaque, Promise Club Seed Money in the amount of $500 and mention on SHP’s social media channels and related materials.

“To date, our Say Something program has helped countless students across the country diffuse potential acts of violence as well as helped those who were thinking of harming themselves,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of 6-year old Dylan Hockley who was killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. “Whenever we do Say Something presentations, there is always someone who approaches me or our Promise Presenters with a concern about their friend or a potential threat. Youth and teens see and hear things that adults can’t, that is why it is so important for us to train them to look out for one another, be upstanders and to intervene by saying something if they see an individual exhibiting at-risk behaviors.”

In 4 out of 5 school shootings, the attacker told someone of his/her plans prior to the attack and 70% or people who complete suicide told someone of their intention or gave some type of warning. SHP’s Know the Signs programs, including Say Something, educate young people and adults about the warning signs and to how to intervene before it’s too late.  

In the past 22 months, SHP has trained over 1.340 million youth, teens and adults in at least one of its four Know the Signs programs, including Say Something. SHP also released a powerful PSA titled “Evan” in December 2016, which received over 115 million views worldwide.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing parents, schools and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation.

4 Years of Sandy Hook Promise

Sandy Hook Promise launched four years ago today. We are so grateful for all that our supporters have helped us accomplish already:

  • Over 1,000,000 have Made the Promise at SandyHookPromise.org
  • 2,200+ volunteer Promise Leaders help bring our programs to 49 states and the District of Columbia
  • 1,340,000+ children and youth have been trained in our Know the Signs programs
  • Nearly 200 community organizations have been trained in an SHP program
  • We reach 260,000+ across our social media platforms
  • Passed federal mental reform legislation

We will never stop working to protect our kids from gun violence.

Victory! Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Final Passage of the Mental Health Reform Bill

The Senate passes the 21st Century Cures Act 94-5 and helps ensure those struggling with mental health receive the access and care they deserve

Today the Senate took a significant step to save lives across the country by voting 94-5 to pass the 21st Century Cares Act, which will enact meaningful reforms to the country’s mental health and criminal justice systems, as well as fund research into cancer and other diseases. For nearly four years, SHP has worked tirelessly to pass mental health reform legislation to ensure that those in distress have access to the services they need. This is a tremendous victory for the organization, as well as those it partnered with to pass this very important legislation including American Psychiatric Association, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American Psychological Association, the Eating Disorders Coalition, Mental Health America, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Sandy Hook Promise praises the steadfast dedication of the Senators it also worked closely with to help pass this bill including, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Al Franken (D-MN). President Obama praised the bill during his weekly address on Saturday and is expected to quickly sign it.

“It was a team effort to get this bill done,” said Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut after Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act. “There was a big question this fall as to whether the Mental Health Reform Act will be part of this package…[but] there was a turning point moment that Sandy Hook Promise and Mark [Barden] had big role in.”

Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) who lost his first-grade son, Daniel Barden, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, commented on the bill’s passage, “The passing of this bill is such a monumental success for us at Sandy Hook Promise and all of the mental health organizations that we partnered with who have worked tirelessly for nearly four years to pass the mental health reform. I applaud the outstanding leadership of our Senators and Representatives, as this bill will help millions of people in need. This legislation begins to do the critical work of prioritizing early intervention and increasing access to mental health services and suicide prevention programs. And we are ready for the work ahead.”

The 21st Century Cures Act aims to strengthen federal coordination of mental health resources, increase reporting on mental health parity, advance integrated service delivery, support the mental health workforce, increase early access to mental health services, promote suicide prevention and enact meaningful reforms to criminal justice systems. New work is also expected in the field of immunotherapy, a promising treatment for cancer and in the study of the brain, which could bring discoveries on Alzheimer’s disease and mental illness, as well as expands treatment for those battling drug addiction.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a non-partisan national nonprofit formed and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, SHP’s sole purpose is to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens so that no other parents experience the senseless, horrific loss of their child.  SHP delivers four, at no cost, Know the Signs programs that teach youth and adults to recognize signs and signals of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help before it is too late. SHP’s Know the Signs programs have helped stop a school shooting, multiple suicide and firearm threats, while also intervening to help individuals get mental health assistance. Additionally, SHP advocates for sensible state and federal violence prevention policy in the areas of mental health and wellness identification, intervention and treatment as well as firearm access and storage. To bring SHP’s Know the Signs programs to your school or community or help advocate for sensible policy, visit sandyhookpromise.org.

Sandy Hook Promise Debuts PSA to Teach How to “Know the Signs”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                   

Dini von Mueffing Communications

Dini von Mueffling / Stephanie Morris

Dini@dvmcpr.com / Stephanie@dvcmpr.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise, Leading National Gun Violence

Prevention Organization, Debuts PSA to Teach How to “Know the Signs”

BBDO Creates Provocative Video to Expose Warning Signs of Gun Violence

 

Newtown, CT– December 2, 2016 – Almost 4 years after the tragedy that struck Sandy Hook Elementary School, there continues to be no reduction in the number of gun violence acts committed each and every day. In the aftermath, families and communities are often left wondering what they could have done differently to have stopped it. Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a leading national gun violence prevention organization, wants to help prevent acts of gun violence before they start through their no cost “Know the Signs” programs. SHP’s programs teach youth and adults how to recognize an individual exhibiting at-risk behaviors and how to effectively intervene to get them help BEFORE they hurt themselves or others.

 

Sadly, it has been reported that 80% of school shooters and 70% of individuals who completed suicides told someone of their violent plans prior to taking action – yet no interventions weren’t made. Working with award-winning advertising agency BBDO New York, SHP is launching a powerful PSA titled “Evan” to educate viewers that very often warning signs are given off before an act of violence occurs – but sometimes we don’t see what is right in front of us.   

 

The short film is the story of Evan, a teen counting down the days to summer break, who demonstrates his boredom by writing on a table in the school library. The next day he finds someone has responded back. While we watch Evan’s story, another darker tale is unfolding simultaneously, but no one notices. You can view the piece in its entirety here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8syQeFtBKc .

 

“When you don’t know what to look for or can’t recognize what you are seeing, it can be easy to miss warning signs or dismiss them as unimportant. That can lead to tragic consequences, including someone hurting themselves or others”, said Nicole Hockley, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise who lost her first-grade son Dylan in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. “It is important for us to show youth and adults that they are not helpless in protecting their community from gun violence – these acts are preventable when you know the signs.  Everyone has the power to intervene and get help. These actions can save lives.”

 

“Through ‘Evan,' we sought to show how different your perspective can be when you’re aware of the signs,” said Greg Hahn, Chief Creative Officer of BBDO New York. "We’ve been fortunate to work with the inspiring people at Sandy Hook Promise to help parents, students, and teachers better identify these signs.”

 

“Evan” demonstrates the problem that SHP is working to solve through their four “Know the Signs” research-based programs, provided at no cost to schools and community organizations. In just 22 months, SHP has already trained 1.5 million students, teachers school officials and parents in all 50 states in at least one of its programs.

 

As a result of their “Know the Signs” training, SHP has helped intervene on multiple threats – including a school shooting, suicides and bringing firearms to schools, as well as helping to reduce bullying and getting hundreds of individuals mental health assistance.

 

Like other public health issues, including heart attacks, domestic violence and strokes, PSAs have historically been a powerful tool in educating Americans on recognizing signs of someone needing help. SHP’s Know the Signs campaign is no different. BBDO New York seized the opportunity to expand SHP’s mission and educate millions with this powerful and educational PSA.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a non-partisan national nonprofit formed and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  Based in Newtown, Connecticut, SHP’s sole purpose is to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens so that no other parents experience the senseless, horrific loss of their child.  SHP delivers, at no cost, four Know the Signs programs that teach youth and adults to recognize signs of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help before it is too late.  SHP’s Know the Signs programs have helped stop a school shooting, multiple suicide and firearm threats, while also intervening to help individuals get mental health assistance.  Additionally, SHP advocates for sensible state and federal policy that helps prevents at-risk individuals from hurting themselves or others, including limiting their access to firearms until they are deemed fit. To bring SHP’s Know the Signs programs to your school or community or help advocate for sensible policy, visit sandyhookpromise.org.

###

SHP_FB_cover_mobile.jpg

 

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds House for the Passage of Mental Health Reform Bill in the 21st Century Cures Act, Calls on Senate to Pass Bill Into Law

 SHLogo_URL.jpg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

Dini von Mueffling Communications

                                                                                                                                                          Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds House for the Passage of

Mental Health Reform Bill in the 21st Century Cures Act

Calls on Senate to Pass Bill Into Law

 

Washington. D.C.— November 30th, 2016 – Today, in one of the most sweeping and rare bipartisan acts of this Congress, lawmakers passed legislation to enact meaningful reforms to our mental health and criminal justice systems, as well as fund research into cancer and other diseases. Sandy Hook Promise applauds the steadfast dedication of U.S. Representatives Tim Murphy, Eddie Bernice Johnson and the House for taking the crucial step in passing the 21st Century Cures Act. Today marks a positive first step to improve access to mental health services.

 

Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) who lost his first-grade son, Daniel Barden, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, commented on the bill’s passage, ”This bill will enable those who have been touched by mental health conditions to finally have a sense of hope. SHP was proud to support the tireless effort that Representatives Murphy and Johnson, the House and the mental health community put in over the past three years to pass these reforms. This legislation begins to do the critical work of prioritizing early intervention, increasing access to mental health services, and combating suicide in our schools and communities. It is a major victory for all of us and the people it will help. We urge the Senate to quickly pass the bill into law and the President to sign it.”

 

H.R. 34 aims to strengthen federal coordination of mental health resources, increase reporting on mental health parity, advance integrated service delivery, support the mental health workforce, increase early access to mental health services and promote suicide prevention. The legislation also includes important criminal justice measures that will facilitate collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, mental health treatment and substance use disorder systems to ensure those with mental health conditions receive the treatment and help they need.

               

After the momentous passage in the House, Sandy Hook Promise calls upon the Senate to pass this bill into law.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a non-partisan national nonprofit formed and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, SHP’s sole purpose is to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens so that no other parents experience the senseless, horrific loss of their child.  SHP delivers four, at no cost, Know the Signs programs that teach youth and adults to recognize signs and signals of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help before it is too late. SHP’s Know the Signs programs have helped stop a school shooting, multiple suicide and firearm threats, while also intervening to help individuals get mental health assistance. Additionally, SHP advocates for sensible state and federal violence prevention policy in the areas of mental health and wellness identification, intervention and treatment as well as firearm access and storage. To bring SHP’s Know the Signs programs to your school or community or help advocate for sensible policy, visit sandyhookpromise.org.

###

 

Letter to House Leadership: Pass Mental Health Reform

Mental Health Liaison Group

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515 

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
H-107, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Steny Hoyer
Minority Whip
U.S. House of Representatives
1705 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader McCarthy, and Minority Whip Hoyer:

We, the undersigned organizations, write today in strong support of mental health reform provisions contained in the bicameral and bipartisan end-of-year healthcare package currently being advanced, and we urge the House to pass these provisions as soon as possible.

As you know, we have a mental health crisis in this country. Over 68 million Americans have experienced a mental health or substance use disorder in the past year, which is more than 20 percent of the total population of the United States. Lifetime rates are much higher with some estimates approaching 50 percent. More striking, in 2014, nearly 43,000 Americans died by suicide. Many individuals with mental health or substance use conditions are unable to access or receive the appropriate services and supports for these disorders, and they remain constantly challenged by mental health service delivery systems that are largely fragmented and uncoordinated across the country.

Thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and others, Congress has prioritized mental health reform efforts over the past three years. We are pleased that the underlying healthcare package incorporates H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which passed the House nearly unanimously in July. These important bipartisan provisions strengthen federal coordination of mental health resources, increase reporting on mental health parity, advance integrated service delivery, support the mental health workforce, increase early access to mental health services, promote suicide prevention, and enact meaningful reforms to criminal justice systems.

The need for reform is urgent, and you have the opportunity to act now to improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans, their families, and our communities.

We urge you to enact mental health reform legislation this year.

Sincerely,

American Academy of Pediatrics
American Art Therapy Association
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
American Dance Therapy Association
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
American Group Psychotherapy Association
American Nurses Association
American Occupational Therapy Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare
Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness
Center for Clinical Social Work
The Clinical Social Work Association
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Eating Disorders Coalition
Emergency Nurses Association
The Jewish Federations of North America
Mental Health America
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health
National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
National Council for Behavioral Health
National Health Care for the Homeless Council*
National League for Nursing
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society*
The National Register of Health Service Psychologists
No Health without Mental Health
Parity Implementation Coalition**
Sandy Hook Promise
Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America
School Social Work Association of America
Tourette Association of America
The Trevor Project
Trinity Health, Livonia MI*


*Affiliate Member
**not MHLG member

 

 National organizations representing consumers, family members, advocates, professionals and providers c/o Laurel Stine, J.D., American Psychological Association at lstine@apa.org and Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP, Mental Health America at dplotnick@mentalhealthamerica.net