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Sandy Hook Promise Releases Statement on Shooting in Las Vegas, NV

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Newtown, CT, October 2, 2017 - This morning we woke to learn about what is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. A shooter opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, NV, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others. There are no words to describe the sadness and pain we feel with the news of yet another horrific mass shooting that has claimed innocent lives and left loved ones devastated by loss, their lives forever changed. We stand with the victims’ families and survivors and are ready to give them support and compassion as they navigate the difficult path ahead.

Gun violence is far too common in our country - destroying lives, families and communities. Though we can take action to prevent this, most people don’t and that inaction leads to more death. How much longer can we accept this as part of life in America? Days like today remind us how quickly life can change, but regardless we should always expect to be safe at a concert, a movie, at church, and in school.

Nobody is born evil. Nobody is born a killer. They are influenced by the environment around them, and sadly, turn to violence when fear and anger become too much to manage. Just as environment can create killers, it can also prevent them from ever reaching that point. It is for this very reason that we must create and pass policy and programs that identify and intervene on individuals before they become killers.

Over the past five years, we have witnessed how we generally respond (or don’t) as a country to mass shootings like Las Vegas. It’s usually a cyclical conversation, starting with debate between banning assault weapons or arming more Americans, moving then to a focus on mental illness and “good guys vs bad guys” and finally to policy proposals that may relate directly to what occurred, but possibly not, and no federal legislation changes will pass. By the end of next week this story will be almost gone as if it never happened, even while those most impacted are still reeling from shock and grief.

We are asking Americans, in the name of these victims and to protect those still living, do something – let’s move from rhetoric and focusing on just “the gun” to more focus on “the shooter” and steps we can be taking as a country to identify and stop them before it’s too late.

What can you do now?

1. Help pass federal and state policy: We need policy that will help us intervene with identified at-risk individuals and ensure they are prevented from accessing or purchasing firearms until they are deemed fit. This includes sensible legislation like Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

2. Learn the Signs of Violence: We need programs and training to help people know what to look for and understand the signs given off by at-risk individuals. We need to teach people how to intervene and get help, so that legislation can be enforced effectively. Typically, although more information is needed on this tragic event, mass shooting are planned in advance, usually for around six months or more. It is highly likely in the case of the Las Vegas shooter that there were plans and missed signs.

3. National Mental Health & Wellness: We need more funding and support to ensure mental health and wellness needs are met – this includes social and emotional learning, trauma intervention and mandatory treatment by healthcare providers.

4. Get involved: Most people don’t think about gun violence prevention before something happens to their family or to their community. We need people to understand that doing nothing is not a choice, especially when the actions they can take are so easy – from calling on their legislators to take action. bringing the training to their schools and community, and/or getting involved with a gun violence prevention organization.

We need politicians in D.C. and our states to show leadership and take action. Today IS the time to have these conversations if we are going to prevent the shootings of tomorrow. Inaction leads to more Americans dying.

We must put aside our differences and focus on our shared values, community and common humanity. We must all stand together to take real action and work for an end to gun violence and create a safer America.

Our hearts are with the families and community of Las Vegas during this difficult time. We wrap our arms around them as they deal with the pain and sorrow today, and in the days and years to come. We promise we will continue to take action to prevent tragedies and ask all other Americans to make that same promise, and then take action to deliver.

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. SHP is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults 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. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

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Contact:
Stephanie Morris
Dini Von Mueffling Communications
stephanie@dvmcpr.com
646-650-5005

Nicole Hockley to Speak at "Undoing Destructive Myths", New Haven Mental Health Symposium

 The Unitarian Society of New Haven

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Undoing False and Destructive Myths: The Connection between Mental Illness and Gun Violence is topic of symposium to be held SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 9 AM – 3 PM AT THE UNITARIAN OF NEW HAVEN, 700 HARTFORD TURNPIKE, HAMDEN

 

Symposium will explore how Connecticut citizens can build new relationships and community coalitions to dispel the myth that mental illness and gun violence go hand-in-hand.

For further information, please contact:  Claire Bien, 203 804-5507, clairebien1128@yahoocom; or Graziela Reis, (203) 824-2278, grazreis@hotmail.com

Hamden, CT.  On Saturday, October 14, 2017, the Unitarian Society of New Haven will hold a symposium on mental health awareness to explore the truth behind the popular beliefs that mental illness and gun violence go hand in hand and that acts of mass violence are inevitably committed by “madmen.” In fact, the most rigorous, recent study found that only 4 percent of gun violence is caused by people with diagnosed mental illness, and people with mental illness are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators, and research suggests that suicide accounts for two-thirds of the 30,000 gun deaths each year in the U.S. Free-will donations will be gratefully accepted.

During the day, three expert panels will address the following questions:

  • Are people with mental illness at increased risk for violence?
  • Is it true that people with mental illness are at greater risk of suicide than homicide?
  • How do stigma and shame contribute to gun violence?
  • Can legislation and public health education reduce gun violence?

Panelists during the day include:  Dr. Larry Davidson, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Yale School of Medicine,  Scott Jackson, Commissioner, Department of Labor; former Chair, Sandy Hook Commission; Annita Perez Sawyer, PhD, Psychologist and Author; Paul Hammer, President, Bicycle Education, Entrepreneurship & Enrichment Programs, Person in Recovery; Nicole Hockley, Managing Director, Sandy Hook Commission; Emily McCave, PhD, LMSW, Associate Professor of Social Work at Quinnipiac University, Former President of the Southern CT Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer; Ann and Allie Nelson, Ann Nelson Advocacy, Yale Child Study Center; Robert Rudewicz, Talk Saves Lives-Firearms and Suicide Prevention & Question Persuade Refer Institute Gatekeeper Trainer, and former Hartford Police Officer; Trish Buchanan, Mental Health Advocate, Jonathan Perloe, Director, Programs and Communications, CT Against Gun Violence

 

The symposium is sponsored by the Unitarian Society of New Haven’s
Mental Health Awareness and Preventing Gun Violence Task Forces

Call Your Senators to Protect Mental Health Care

At any moment, the Senate will vote on a health care bill that would effectively reverse all the progress we've made together to get people with mental health issues the treatment they need.

Read more

SHP To Host 3rd Annual Say Something Call-To-Action Week, October 16-20

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                        

Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications

Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise to Host 3rd Annual Say Something Call-to-Action Week: October 16 – 20

The organization has trained over 2 Million youth and adults in violence prevention

 

Newtown, CT – Leading national gun violence prevention organization Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is preparing for its much-anticipated national Say Something Call-to-Action Week. The proven Say Something program teaches youth and adults how to identify warning signs and signals, especially in social media, from individuals who may want to hurt themselves or others and how to Say Something to a trusted adult to get them help. 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 bystanders.

 

During the week of October 16th through the 20th, SHP will host its 3rd annual Say Something Call-to-Action week with an expansive network of schools and youth organizations across the country. In 2016, hundreds of thousands of students in grades 6-12 from over 1,000 schools nationwide learned how to recognize the warning signs of violence and self-harm, including bullying, depression and eating disorders, as well as substance, physical, or sexual abuse, and how to share any observed signs with a trusted adult to get help. Through Say Something, every student is empowered to help others and their community.  Schools that participate in Say Something during the week and incorporate the core values of the program into their school culture and community at large are eligible to enter their school to win a Say Something award and funds to help sustain the program.

 

According to U.S. Department of Justice Office research, in 4 out of 5 school shootings, the attacker told someone of his/her plans prior to the attack, and 70% of people who complete suicide told someone of their intention or gave some type of warning. Also, ABC News reported that on average there was at least one (1) shooting at a school or college campus per week in the U.S. in 2015. SHP’s programs work to proactively prevent tragedy by reinforcing the power within young people to stop violence before it starts.

 

Say Something is delivered at no cost to schools and organizations by SHP. The program can be taught in the classroom, through assemblies, or by student ambassadors.  The program is based on research conducted by Dr. Dewey Cornell and Dr. Reid Meloy, two leading national experts in threat assessment and intervention.

 

This fall, SHP is also excited to announce they are partnering with EVERFI to create a new innovative digital course that enables even more students to experience the Say Something program. EVERFI, the nation’s leading education technology company, powers more than 4,200 partners in their education initiatives across all 50 states and Canada and is backed by some of the leading names in the tech world, including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. The new digital course highlights and reinforces how to identify at-risk behaviors, and empowers students to Say Something before tragedy occurs. It will be launched and made available to schools nationwide in October.

 

Since its inception, SHP has educated two (2) million youths, teens, and adults in its Know the Signs Programs in all 50 states on mental health & wellness, identification of at-risk behaviors and how to take action and get help before a situation escalates. Those trained are now able to spread SHP’s vital messages and create a culture of connectedness and inclusion throughout their community.

 

To sign-up your school, youth group, or community based organization to participate in SHP’s Say Something Call-to-Action week, please visit: http://www.sandyhookpromise.org/saysomethingweek.  

 

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. SHP is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults 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. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

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SHP Statement on Freeman High School Shooting

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

Dini von Mueffing Communications 

Stephanie Morris 

646-650-5005 

 

Sandy Hook Promise Releases Statement Regarding School Shooting 

 at Freeman High School in Rockford, WA 

 

September 13, 2017  With the school year just starting, we are heartbroken to learn about the mass school shooting at Freeman High School in Rockford, WA. Our hearts and thoughts are with the Rockford community, as we know all too well the anguish that this community feels today and the days to come.  

 

What should be an exciting time for eager students, took an unfortunate turn after a student opened fire in the hallway at Freeman High School killing one and injuring three. Students should be able to go to school and expect a safe learning environment.  

 

We know that these atrocities can make one feel helpless and like all hope is lost. It is not. We must take this time to come together to take real action to keep our children safe. 

 

Join us to help prevent another mass shooting. Make the Promise, talk to your legislators, get your community involved, and encourage kindness and inclusion.  

 

We wrap Rockford in our love right now, but our collective actions are needed from every community across America.   

 

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 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.  

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Sandy Hook Promise Partners With EVERFI on New Digital Learning Initiative to Reduce Violence and Bullying in Schools

Sandy Hook Promise Partners With EVERFI on New Digital Learning Initiative to Reduce Violence and Bullying in Schools

New Digital “Say Something” Program Will Teach Students to Look for Warning Signs, Signals, and Threats

 

Newtown, CT (September 12, 2017) – Sandy Hook Promise today announced a partnership with EVERFI, the nation’s leading education technology company backed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, and TPG Growth’s social impact fund, to develop a new digital education initiative focused on helping students recognize signs of potential violent threats and take appropriate action immediately. Sandy Hook Promise is the national non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. The digital program will be available at no cost to thousands of schools in the fall of the 2017-2018 school year.

 

Non-fatal and fatal violence at schools has been on the rise since the early 2000s. The RAND Corporation has reported that 20-30 percent of American students (i.e. over 10 million students) repeatedly either engage in, or are the victims of bullying tactics such as physical aggression, verbal harassment, public humiliation, cyber bullying and/or rumor mongering.  All of these factors contribute to self-harm, suicide or harm to others, and cultivate a climate of fear.

 

“To change these disturbing statistics, it is critical that we build an inclusive culture that encourages “upstanders”, not bystanders.” 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. “School administrators at schools across the country have reported that after implementing our Know the Signs programs students have created a more inclusive community that looks after one another, and who don’t hesitate to speak up when something is amiss.”

 

The interactive digital learning program will be implemented directly in schools as part of Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something initiative, which teaches children and teens how to recognize the signs of someone exhibiting at-risk behaviors and “say something” to a trusted adult to get them help. The Say Something digital experience highlights and reinforces key objectives from Sandy Hook Promise’s in-person trainings. “This new digital learning initiative will allow students to navigate multiple virtual scenarios, evaluate warning signs and threats, and reflect on their decisions. We are excited to be partnering with EVERFI on this important work,” said Hockley.

 

“We are incredibly proud to partner with Sandy Hook Promise to provide a scalable digital learning program to empower young people to both recognize the signs of need and take action,” said EVERFI Chief Operating Officer Tammy Wincup. “These issues affect our children in every community across the country. There is more we can do.”

 

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. SHP is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults 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. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

About EVERFI, Inc.

EVERFI, Inc. is the leading education technology company that provides learners of all ages education for the real world, through innovative and scalable digital learning. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription model and has certified over 16 million learners in critical skill areas.  Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, TPG Growth, The Rise Fund, Advance Publications, and Rethink Education, and Rethink Impact.  The EVERFI Education Network powers more than 4,200 partners in their education initiatives across all 50 states and Canada. Learn more at EVERFI.com

 

Media Contact:

Monique Waters

EVERFI - Senior Director of Corporate Communications

301-233-4241

 

DVM Communications

Stephanie Morris

stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

Preventing Teen Suicide: What the Evidence Shows

We need to talk about suicide in ways that help, not harm. We need to make sure young people have no access to guns. And we need to make sure they are connected enough to each other, to family, and to the health care system so that those at risk can be recognized and given the care they need. The rising toll shows we should not ignore this problem, or pretend that it’s just too hard.

 

Read more at the New York Times

“A Night Honoring Promise Champions”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Dini von Mueffling Communications
Stephanie Morris
Stephanie@dvmcpr.com
646-650-5005

“A Night Honoring Promise Champions”
Sandy Hook Promise Hosted its 3rd Annual Champions Gala in Washington D.C.


Elected Officials From Across the Aisle United To Support The Gun Violence Prevention Organization In The Shadow Of Recent Tragedies

 

Newtown, CT - Wednesday June 14th, was an emotional day on Capitol Hill following the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise and several others, but members of Congress from the across the aisle showed a groundswell of support at Sandy Hook Promise’s 3rd annual Promise Champions Gala event at the Mellon Auditorium.

The event was hosted by Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, co-Founders and Managing Directors at Sandy Hook Promise (SHP). Hockley’s son Dylan and Mark’s son Daniel were among the 20 first graders and 6 educators killed at the Sandy Hook School tragedy on December 14, 2012.

The event honored men and women from across the country for their work in gun violence prevention and mental health support, including Promise Champions U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) who were honored for their consistent support of common sense efforts to address gun violence.

In 2016, Senator Collins committed to finding common ground with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals and those with severe mental illness. She introduced bipartisan legislation in 2016 to prevent people on the No Fly List of Selectee List from purchasing firearms, and supported the Manchin-Toomey Background Check Bill in 2013 and 2015.

Senator Manchin co-authored the Manchin-Toomey Background Check Bill in 2013 and 2015, working closely with Sandy Hook Promise and listening to the voices of his constituents and the nation. Senator Manchin continues to advocate for commonsense, bipartisan solutions, working with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to prevent gun violence and keep constituents safe.

The honorary co-chairs for the evening U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), spoke passionately about their personal connections with the cause, and their shared goal of reducing violence across the United States. Honorary co-chair U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Democratic Leader (D-NY) was also acknowledged for his ongoing support, but was unable to attend in person.

SHP’s mission galvanized support from over 50 members of Congress who served on the honorary co-chair committee for this event. They were joined at the gala by esteemed business and philanthropic leaders, and Promise Leaders from across the nation who are creating change within their communities.

Following the horrific shooting of Scalise and others who were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, and the San Francisco UPS employee shootings earlier in the day, SHP co-founder Nicole Hockley said “Every time I hear about another act of gun violence, the pain of the day I lost my son comes rushing back. Losing a loved one like this is not something you ever get over. But what we want is to prevent others from ever having to feel our pain. That’s how we honor Dylan and Daniel and all the lives lost to gun violence … by creating meaningful, sustainable cultural change, while working to save lives every day. Sadly, incidents of gun violence in our country are still shockingly high. It pains me to say this, but since Sandy Hook, more than 10,000 children under the age of 19 have died as a result of gun violence. That’s 10,000 other families who live with the same pain we do every day.”

Despite the somber tone, Sandy Hook Promise celebrated the great strides it has made in the gun violence prevention and mental health and wellness space to date. In less than three years, SHP has trained nearly 2 million youth and adults in over 3700 schools, across all 50 states with their Know The Signs violence prevention programs on mental health and wellness, identification of at-risk behaviors and how to take action and get help before a situation escalates.

Through their initiatives, SHP has stopped multiple school shootings, suicides and other acts of violence, as well as reduced incidences of bullying, threats and weapons being brought into school and helped many young people get the mental health services support they need. However, there is still much work to be done. Over a half million acts of gun violence occur annually in the U.S. Every day, 314 people are shot, and of those 41 are children under the age of 18.

The event included an opportunity to celebrate and honor many of SHP’s partnerships with some of the country’s largest school districts, and the generation of young minds they have been training. Students and school administrators from the Miami Dade County Public Schools in Miami, FL; Burnet Middle School in Burnet, TX; Dutchtown High School in Hampton, GA; and Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley, CA attended the event. The Voices of Promise honorees school administrator Sara Te (Burnet, TX), and students Arlette De La Rosa (Miami, FL) and Micaylah Clark (Dutchtown, GA) each gave heartfelt speeches about the impact that SHP’s programs have had in their schools in reducing bullying, promoting social inclusion, and building awareness of ways to identify, act and prevent potential acts of violence.

The event was supported The Association for Accessible Medicines as Presenting Sponsor, and President & CEO Chip Davis was personally thanked for his longstanding partnership with SHP. The event’s Pillar Sponsors, included Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Centene Corporation, Comcast Corporation, General Dynamics Corporation, Pepsico, PhRMA, S&P Global and The Lawrence and Elva O’Brien Family Foundation.

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. SHP is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults 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. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

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