Newtown, CT – Almost four years following the tragedy that struck the Sandy Hook community on December 14, 2012, an organization formed by some of the families of the victims will educate youth across the country on gun violence prevention. Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that aims to prevent violence before it starts by educating students, school administrators, parents and communities to identify anyone exhibiting signs of harming them self or others and to intervene to get help. One of its “Know the Signs” programs, Say Something, takes preventative measures by helping students recognize the signs of potentially violent or at-risk behavior in their peers, particularly on social media, and to act immediately by saying something to a trusted adult.
During the week of October 24th through the 28th, SHP will work with schools across the nation – from Shreveport, Louisiana to Chicago, Illinois – in the 2nd annual Say Something Call-to-Action week. This year, participation in Say Something Week has more than doubled and hundreds of thousands of students in grades 6-12 from over 1,000 schools nationwide will learn how to recognize the warning signs of violence and self-harm, including bullying, depression, eating disorders, and substance, physical, or sexual abuse and learn how to share any observed signs with a trusted adult. Through Say Something, every student is empowered to help others and their community, becoming upstanders rather than bystanders.
According to 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. SHP’s programs work to proactively prevent tragedy by reinforcing the power within young people to stop violence before it starts.
“Our Say Something program has been proven beneficial for schools and students across the country as students trained in the program have stepped up to help avert violence, big and small, in their schools and communities,” said Nicole Hockley, Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of 6-year old Dylan Hockley who was also killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. “Every student we train has the power to help someone else and avert a potential tragedy. Imagine how many families will be spared the agony of losing a loved one, once teens are made aware of the signs and learn how to properly intervene and Say Something to a trusted adult.”
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.
Since its inception, Sandy Hook Promise has educated over 1 million youths 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.
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children. Through its life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP educates and empowers youth and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or at risk of hurting themselves or others. Through nonpartisan policy and partnerships, SHP advances gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education at the state and federal levels that protect all children from gun violence in their schools, homes, and communities. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Learn more at www.sandyhookpromise.org
Stephanie Morris, Dini von Mueffling Communications | [email protected] | 646-650-5005