Know the Signs Programs

Mental Health First Aid

Say Something

Safety Assessment and Intervention

Start with hello

Know the signs

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID

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Training for parents, schools and community organizations on how to identify, intervene and get help for children and teens in mental health crisis or displaying at-risk behavior that may result in an individual hurting them self or others. All training is paid for by Sandy Hook Promise.

Mental Health First Aid Training Fact Sheet

Training Fact Sheet

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM

Our society has tried to link mental illness with violence for many years. In our research, we have concluded that the vast majority of people who are violent, do not suffer from mental illness. In fact, it has been reported that between 4-7.5% of acts of violence are committed by someone with a mental illness and often there was a presence of other risk factors, such as substance abuse, history of violence, juvenile detention, physical abuse and/or a recent stressor such as divorce, separation or losing a job (1). At Sandy Hook Promise, we do not support any broad statement or stigmatization that people with mental illness are violent, however, while the percentage of mentally ill involved in gun violence is low, the results can be catastrophic as seen in recent mass shootings.

There have also been statements that a majority of people with a mental illness die by suicide. Our research does not support these statements. In fact, a majority of people who experience mental illness do not die by suicide. However, it has been reported of those who do die from suicide, more than 90% have a diagnosable mental disorder. Many of these are experiencing undiagnosed, undertreated or untreated depression or other mental illness [Peterson et al.]

Imagine if more people were educated to know the signs and symptoms of mental illness. How many people could live a healthier life? How many tragedies could be prevented? How many lives would be saved?


WHAT IS THE PROGRAM

Youth Mental Health First Aid™ (YMHFA) teaches adults how to identify and help youth who may be experiencing a mental health crisis and/or exhibiting at-risk behavior that could lead to a crisis.

YMHFA is an evidence based, research proven 8-hour course that helps identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and addictions in youth ages 12-18.


WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE

Adults who are in close contact with children and young people such as: parents, caretakers, educators, law enforcement, faith based leaders, college students, coaches and community leaders.


WHO WILL BENEFIT

Children and young people 12-18 years of age. Training participants benefit as well. Research has shown that YMHFA training helps reduce mental health stigmas or the social distance created by negative attitudes and perceptions of individuals with mental illnesses.


TRAINING CORE LEARNING

Basic understanding of different mental illnesses and enablers to mental illnesses / lack of mental wellness such as:

  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Anxiety and substance use disorders
  • Trauma
  • Psychosis

YMHFA teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can get better and use their strengths to stay well.

Participants will learn YMHFA Action Plan:

  • Assess risk to self or others
  • Listen non-judgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

The YMHFA Action Plan is designed to be applied to a variety of situations, including when someone is experiencing:

  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Acute psychosis (e.g., hallucinations or delusions)
  • Overdose or withdrawal from alcohol or drug use
  • Reaction to a traumatic event

The opportunity to practice – through role plays, scenarios, and activities – makes it easier to apply these skills in a real-life situation.


HOW TO GET STARTED AND COST

Contact programs@sandyhookpromise.org

Sandy Hook Promise will work with individuals, schools and community-based organizations to offset up to 100% of the training cost in order to reach and impact as many lives as possible.

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SAY SOMETHINg

Training for children and teens on how to recognize signs, especially in social media, of an individual who may be a threat to them self or others and say something to a trusted adult to get them help.


SIGN-UP TO BRING SHP CERTIFIED SAY SOMETHING TRAINERS TO YOUR COMMUNITY, OR DOWNLOAD OUR SELF-LEAD CURRICULUM: SIGN UP

Say Something Training Fact Sheet

Training Fact Sheet

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM

Over the last 25 years, research has revealed that in 7 out of 10 acts of gun violence, a friend(s) were told that an act of violence would be committed or may take place. In one study, it was reported that in 4 out of 5 school shootings, the attacker had told people of his plans ahead of time.

The problem is that no one is taking action with this information to stop the act of violence before it starts. Imagine if one of those people took action. How many tragedies could be prevented? How many lives would be saved?


WHAT IS THE PROGRAM

Say Something is an education and awareness program that provides tools and practices to:

  • Recognize the signs & signals of a potential threat – especially in social media
  • Teach and instill in participants how to take action
  • Drive awareness and reinforce the need to Say Something 


WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE

Parents, students, educators, administrators, community-based organizations and other adults who come into contacts with children. The program is designed in a manner for training, promotion and implementation in schools, libraries and local community based organizations as well as in-home.


WHO WILL BENEFIT

Say Something will benefit children age 10+, educators, administrators and community based organization leaders as well as parents. By building a culture of “looking out for one another” and reporting possible threats of violence when someone sees, reads or hears something (especially within social media), entire communities will become safer and lives will be saved.


TRAINING CORE LEARNING

Say Something informs and educates about observable warning signs (written, spoken, photographed, in video) that are often present in behavior that could lead to someone hurting themselves or others as well as educates individuals on how to safely and anonymously report potential threats. Additionally, the program provides tools on how best to promote and reinforce Say Something.


HOW TO GET STARTED AND COST

Contact programs@sandyhookpromise.org

Sandy Hook Promise will work with individuals, schools and community-based organizations to offset up to 100% of the training cost in order to reach and impact as many lives as possible.

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SAFETY ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION

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Training for schools and community organizations on how to identify, assess and respond to threatening behaviors before they escalate to violence.

Safety Assessment & Intervention Training Fact Sheet

Training Fact Sheet

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM

Each year, there are approximately 500,000 acts of gun-related violence including crime, suicide and accidental shooting. SHP believes all gun violence is preventable and that until we focus on identifying, intervening and helping individuals who display at-risk behaviors (versus a gun-only focus), we will likely not decrease the number of acts nationally.

So how do we prevent it? Research supports that nearly all violent / suicidal individuals made threats and/or gave off signs and signals before they hurt themselves or others. The threats, signs and signals can take place over years or days. If we identify and intervene – we can prevent gun-related violence. The problem is how do we know what is a threat or “sign and signal” that possibly poses an imminent or longer-term danger? How do we evaluate these threats, signs and signals? What do we do with them once they are seen, heard or read?

SHP believes schools and community-based organizations should be trained to identify and assess individual threats, signs and signals.


WHAT IS THE PROGRAM

Threat Assessment & Intervention is a national evidenced-based* violence prevention training program researched and developed by Dewey G. Cornell, Ph.D., a forensic clinical psychologist and Professor of Education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. This program exists in over 1,000 schools and organizations in the U.S. SHP has partnered with Dr. Cornell to provide and train schools and community-based organizations on Threat Assessment & Intervention nationwide.

Threat Assessment & Intervention involves (a) identifying threats, signs and signals to commit a violent act, (b) determining the seriousness of the threat, sign or signal, and (c) developing intervention plans that protect potential victims that address the underlying problem or conflict that initiated the behavior. It is designed for schools and community-based organizations.

This program helps create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities by accessing help for individuals who may pose an imminent/longer term threat to themselves or others. While gun violence (gun-related crime and suicide) is SHP’s focus, this program helps identify and prevent alcohol and drug use, physical abuse, dropping out of school, criminal activity to name a few.


WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE

Schools (K-12 educators, administration, mental wellness/counseling support who interact with children and youth) and community-based organizations (leaders who interact with children and youth).


WHO WILL BENEFIT

At-risk children and youth will benefit most. School and community-based learning environments will improve with the added layer of safety.

Additional published research findings from tests and studies:

  • Reported violence reduction
  • School staff reported decreased anxiety and increased knowledge in responding to threats
  • Students reported fewer threats carried out
  • Reductions of 50% in long-term suspensions
  • Reductions in bullying infractions
  • Increased use of school counseling
  • Increased parent involvement
  • Students reported greater willingness to seek help for threats of violence
  • Students reported a more positive views of school personnel

 


TRAINING CORE LEARNING

Threat Assessment & Intervention offers a problem-solving, structured approach to evaluate the viability of incoming threats and equips teams to intervene based on the degree of the threat, sign or signal level (defined as any form of expressed communication whether through verbal, written, or gesture of the intent to harm self or others).

Each school establishes a multidisciplinary team based on its existing staff of school administrators, mental health, and law enforcement professionals (schools may adapt team composition to fit their staffing). Training:

  • Follows a 7-step decision tree and triage approach, so that most threats are resolved quickly with only a few team members; only the most serious threats require full team involvement and/or law enforcement
  • Completed in a one-day workshop

Threat Assessment & Intervention provides all steps, forms, etc to train and implement.  It has been peer-reviewed and refined based on hundreds of hours of training and implementation.


HOW TO GET STARTED AND COST

Contact programs@sandyhookpromise.org

Sandy Hook Promise will work with individuals, schools and community-based organizations to offset up to 100% of the training cost in order to reach and impact as many lives as possible.

* Sandy Hook Promise offers Threat Assessment & Intervention in partnership with Dewey G. Cornell, Ph.D., a forensic clinical psychologist and Professor of Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Dr. Cornell is Director of the UVA Youth Violence Project, a Program Director for Youth-Nex, the UVA Center for Effective Youth Development, and a faculty associate of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. Dr. Cornell has studied youth violence for over 25 years and has assisted thousands of schools in the development of violence prevention programs. He has authored more than 200 publications in psychology and education, including: Guidelines for Responding to Student Threats of Violence and School Violence: Fears versus Facts.

¹Virginia Student Threat Assessment Guidelines: SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidenced-Based Programs and Practices.
http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=263

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Programs and Resources

Research-based Programs and Practices to help protect children from gun violence in your home, schools and community. 

learn more

START WITH HELLO

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Teaches children, teens and young adults how to be more socially inclusive and connected to one another. All training is paid for by Sandy Hook Promise.

SIGN-UP TO BRING SHP CERTIFIED START WITH HELLO TRAINERS TO YOUR COMMUNITY, OR DOWNLOAD OUR SELF-LEAD CURRICULUM: SIGN UP

Start with Hello Training Fact Sheet

Training Fact Sheet

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM

Social isolation is the feeling of being left out, lonely and treated like you are invisible.  At every school and in every community there are children who feel like they have no friends and quietly suffer through each day – especially at lunchtime and other moments where friends gather together.

Young people who are isolated can become a victim of bullying, violence and/or depression. 

As a result, many further pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development and/or choose to hurt themselves or others.


WHAT IS THE PROGRAM

Start With Hello (SWH) is designed to bring individuals and communities together to foster looking out for and caring for one another.  

SWH asks students, educators, parents and other community leaders who interact with children to take a simple, yet incredibly powerful, action at lunch – making sure that no one eats alone.  This simple action, when taught and put into practice, instills the power and reward of social inclusion – that when you see someone alone at lunch (or across any other experience), say hello, introduce yourself, ask them to join you.    

SWH delivers a toolkit to help schools and community based organizations (CBOs) implement the program. The toolkit includes events, activities and actions that can be taken to instill the SWH concept and overarching message of inclusion and community.  

SHP and SWH are available to help train schools and CBOs. Additionally, there is a downloadable, step by step program booklet for students, teachers and community leaders.  

SWH program is available at no cost - all of the resources are available online. The cost of any additional materials – such as flyers and event costs – would be covered by SHP upon request.  


WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE

SWH is targeted at 7th and 8th grade students, however it can be adapted for grades 2-6 and 9-12. Students, teachers and CBO leaders should participate.


WHO WILL BENEFIT

Short-term: SWH will benefit children, faculty, administrators and community based organization leaders involved with the program. 

Long-term: entire communities will benefit as generations begin to incorporate this community connectedness and inclusion practice.


CORE LEARNING

The importance of inclusion and the tragic results that can result when people are excluded.  Children, teachers and CBO leaders are given tools on how to break the ice, break down barriers and get to know one another (interpersonal interaction) as well as how to create and sustain an inclusive culture / community.


HOW TO GET STARTED AND COST

Contact programs@sandyhookpromise.org

Sandy Hook Promise will work with individuals, schools and community-based organizations to offset up to 100% of the training cost in order to reach and impact as many lives as possible. 

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Programs and Resources

Research-based Programs and Practices to help protect children from gun violence in your home, schools and community. 

learn more

KNOW THE SIGNS

People who are at-risk of hurting themselves or others often show signs and signals before an act of violence takes place.  When you don’t know what to look for, it can be easy to miss signs, or dismiss them as unimportant, sometimes with tragic consequences. 

It’s important to know that one warning sign on its own does not mean a person is planning an act of violence.  But when many connected or cumulative signs are observed over a period of time, it could mean that the person is heading down a pathway towards violence or self-harm.  By knowing the signs, you have the power to intervene and get help for that person.  Your actions can save lives. 

A strong fascination or obsession with firearms can be a warning sign.

Exhibiting excessive over-reactions or aggressive behavior for a seemingly minor reason can signal someone who cannot self-regulate their emotions or control their anger.

Perpetrators of self-harm or violence towards others may be victims of long-term bullying and may have real or perceived feelings of being picked on or persecuted by others.

Excessive study of firearms and mass shootings can mean a person is planning violence.

Unsupervised, illegal and/or easy access to firearms, or bragging about access to firearms, can be a warning sign.

Gestures of violence and low commitment or aspirations toward school, or a sudden change in academic performance can be a sign that someone needs help.