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Sandy Hook Promise Commends Senators on Bipartisan Background Check Legislation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                 

Dini von Mueffing Communications

Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise Commends Senators for Introducing

Common Sense Background Check Legislation

Senators on Both Sides of the Aisle Introduce the “Fix NICS Act”

to Strengthen Background Checks

 

Newtown, CT – November 16, 2017 – Earlier this month, as the investigation unfolded in Sutherland Springs, TX, we learned that the deadly shooting could have been averted had authorities properly reported the shooter’s violent history. However, due to this lapse in the system, we witnessed the heartbreaking and grave consequences.

 

In light of this incident, we praise U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX,) Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) along with Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) for introducing the Fix NICS (National Instant Background Check System) Act.

 

The legislation aims to strengthen background checks, hold agencies accountable for reporting a perpetrators violent past, as well as looks to create a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative to ensure that states have adequate resources and incentives to share all relevant information with NICS showing that a felon or domestic abuser is excluded from purchasing a firearm.

 

“In the past 45 days, we have witnessed two of the worst mass shootings in modern history. I applaud these Senators for taking the crucial step to introduce this commonsense legislation that will improve background checks, keep all agencies accountable, and most importantly create a safer America. We have lost too many innocent lives. The time to act is now,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and the mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

 

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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Sandy Hook Promise Hosts 1st Ever Ohio Statehouse Advocacy Day

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  

Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications

Stephanie Morris

stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise Hosts 1st Ever Ohio Statehouse Advocacy Day

 

Mark Barden to moderate Violence Prevention Strategies Panel

 

 

WHAT: As part of Sandy Hook Promise’s (SHP) 1st ever Ohio Statehouse Advocacy Day, co-founder and managing director Mark Barden will convene a panel of Ohio experts to discuss violence prevention strategies and policies. Following the panel briefing, Ohio Promise Leaders will meet with state Representatives and Senators to advocate for the Ohio General Assembly to enact gun violence prevention policies. Interested members of the public are also invited to attend.

 

Media is invited to attend the panel briefing at Ohio Statehouse Atrium. Please email Stephanie Morris at stephanie@dvmcpr.com to request individual interviews.

 

WHEN:                 Wednesday, November 15, 2017

TIME:                    Panel: 10:45 AM EST – 12:00 PM EST

WHERE:                Ohio Statehouse – Atrium (Columbus, OH)

WHO:                    Panel Participants include:

  • Mark Barden, Cofounder and Managing Director, Sandy Hook Promise
  • Terry Russell, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness-Ohio
  • Kathy Oberlin, Director, Ohio Mental Health Network for School Success
  • Jo Simonsen, Family Systems Advocacy Director, Ohio Domestic Violence Network
  • Sandy Hook Promise Ohio Promise Leaders

 

 

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.

SHP Statement on Sutherland Springs Church Shooting

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dini von Mueffing Communications

Stephanie Morris

stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise Releases Statement on Shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX

 

November 6, 2017 – Sunday we learned of the deadly mass shooting that claimed the lives of 26 people, including 14 children, and injured 20 others at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. We feel the pain that this small, close-knit community is going through as it is all too similar to the 26 lives our small community lost almost 5 years ago. Our broken hearts are with the families that have lost innocent loved ones and whose lives are changed forever. We are so sorry for your pain.

 

Gun violence is far too common in our country, and an issue that we have become socially desensitized to – almost to the point of accepting it as the cost for our freedom in America. Two of the five deadliest shootings in the United States have happened in the last 35 days, and yet we are told it is still too soon to talk about gun violence. It is not too soon; it is too late. People should be able to attend church, a concert or school safely, and then come home again. The everyday nature of gun violence and its passive acceptance - instead of taking action to prevent it - is wrong and must stop.

 

“The 26 in Texas now join the 58 in Las Vegas, the 49 in Orlando, the 26 in Newtown, the 32 in Virginia, and the thousands of others who die by gun violence every year. It’s beyond time to talk about gun violence – the time to act is now,” said Nicole Hockley, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Sandy Hook Promise. Hockley’s son Dylan was 6 years old and one of 26 killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. “When horrific tragedies like this happen, we know people feel helpless or hopeless, as they wait for action from our government, which never comes. We must stand together to take real action and work for an end to gun violence in America. We know gun violence is preventable and that there are tangible actions we can take in our own communities to stop violence before it starts. We must take ownership and be personally accountable to keep our communities safe. When more people are engaged, when more voices are raised in outrage, when more actions are being taken, then Congress will have no choice but to listen to the people and pass legislation to sustain this change.”

 

Real action is educating people to know the signs of at-risk individuals and how to intervene and take action BEFORE violence occurs. Most mass shooters display warning signs that are either missed, misunderstood or ignored. Though it is early into the investigation, we already know the Texas shooter had been jailed for assault against his wife and child, and sent threatening messages to his mother-in-law.

 

We wrap our arms around the families and community of Sutherland Springs during this difficult time as they deal with the pain and sorrow today, and in the days and years to come. We are here beside you, along every step.

 

Join us to honor the lives lost and Make The Promise to help prevent gun violence, and support solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities.

 

 

 

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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Sandy Hook Promise Launches New “Say Something Digital” Youth Violence Prevention Course to Reduce Violence in Schools

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                           

Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications

Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise Launches New “Say Something Digital” Youth Violence Prevention Course to Reduce Violence in Schools

New Digital Program Teaches Students to Look for Warning Signs, Signals, and Threats

 

 

Newtown, CT - October 26, 2017  Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) has launched a new digital version of their evidence-based Say Something violence prevention program. Say Something Digitalwas developed in collaboration with leading education technology company EVERFI, and helps students identify the signs of violence or self-harm among their peers and empowers them to “say something” to a trusted adult. Sandy Hook Promise is a national non-profit gun violence prevention organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.

 

The Say Something Digital program is based on SHP’s existing Say Something in-person and self-led trainings, but allows students to practice handling these difficult situations through simulated real-world scenarios. Within the course, students look at sample social media posts and assess true-life conversations among peers to identify potential warning signs. Students are then asked to walk through an example conversation with a trusted adult to prepare them to ‘say something’. The digital course can be used as the primary Say Something training, or as a supplement during a free period, select class, or as a homework assignment. The digital delivery makes it easy for schools to use the course as a reinforcement exercise throughout the school year after the initial training.

 

This new digital learning initiative will allow students to navigate multiple virtual scenarios, evaluate warning signs and threats, and reflect on their decisions. Violence is preventable when students know the signs and take action,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and Managing Director at Sandy Hook Promise.  Hockley is the mother of Dylan, who was 6 years old when he was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

 

“We are incredibly proud to have partnered 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.”

 

Say Something is one of SHP’s four Know The Signs violence prevention programs.  SHP has trained over 2 million youth and adults in these evidenced-based, life-saving programs.  The programs are offered free to schools and organizations across the country, and have helped stop multiple school shootings, suicides and other threats of violence, and reduced bullying nationally.  “We feel strongly about offering these important programs for free, because cost should never be a factor in saving a life,” said Nicole Hockley.

 

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.  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 Hockley. “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.”

 

To bring Say Something to your school or organization, contact programs@sandyhookpromise.org

 

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 is the leading education technology company that provides education for the real world. 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, Twitter founder Evan Williams, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. The EVERFI Education Network powers more than 3,300 partner organizations across all 50 states and Canada and annually reaches 6 million learners. Learn more at EVERFI.com

 

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Sandy Hook Promise Statement in Support of Senator Chris Murphy’s Background Check Expansion Act

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact

Dini Von Mueffling Communications

                                                                                                                                           Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise Statement in Support of Senator Chris Murphy’s Background Check Expansion Act

 

Newtown, CT, October 25th, 2017 - Sandy Hook Promise, the national gun violence prevention organization, urges the Senate to vote on Senator Chris Murphy’s new bill to close the loopholes in our background check system.  From the horrific shooting in Sandy Hook to the most recent tragedy in Las Vegas, Congress has not acted to keep our country safe from gun violence. They must act now to pass the Background Check Expansion Act.

“While our country may be divided on many issues, we all want to feel safe and the vast majority of us agree that if you can’t pass a background check, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun,” says Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise who lost her six-year-old son Dylan in Sandy Hook. “As major loopholes in our nation’s laws allow a quarter of all guns to be bought without a background check, our elected officials must come together around this commonsense bill and help save lives before another tragedy happens.”

 

 

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 helps lobby for the passage of sensible state and federal firearm access policy, that protect children and prevents 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 Newly Released FBI Documents

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact

Stephanie Morris

Dini Von Mueffling Communications

stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

Sandy Hook Promise Statement on Newly Released FBI Documents

 

Newtown, CT, October 24th, 2017 – Documents released today by the FBI concerning the December 14th, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School affirm that there were multiple chances to intervene and prevent the tragedy. While we know many signs and signals were missed, including but not limited to extreme chronic social isolation, a fascination with firearms and past mass shootings, more instances of concerning behavior were outlined in the documents. 

 

“Newly disclosed instances where the shooter communicated on the internet about his loneliness, his documentation of past mass shootings and spree killings, and suicidal ideation have come to light, and add to the urgency of the importance of knowing the signs to get someone help before they can hurt themselves or others and prevent future tragedies from occurring,” said Nicole Hockley, managing director at Sandy Hook Promise, and mom to 6 year-old Dylan, killed in the shooting.

 

Sandy Hook Promise provides prevention programs, at no cost, to schools around the country to help students, school administrators, and parents identify signs and signals of someone in a crisis, and who to tell to properly intervene to prevent violence.

 

“These new findings reinforce the relevance and gravity of knowing the signs and the capacity to save lives. If someone had intervened, my son and others killed at Sandy Hook School might be alive today,” said Hockley.

 

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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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