Newtown, CT– In less than 20 months, Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) announces that it has trained over one million youths and adults in its gun violence prevention educational programs. Since the unimaginable tragedy that took 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, SHP has transformed loss into a national grassroots movement to prevent violence before it starts.
“We could not be more proud of the exponential growth that our organization has experienced over the last two years.” says Nicole Hockley, Co-Founder and Managing Director of SHP, “I never would have believed that we could have accomplished so much, so quickly. I cannot thank the students, parents, teachers, and all of the other volunteers and participants, enough. It is their immeasurable devotion and passion for our mission that has kept the momentum growing.”
Through its Know the Signs programs, SHP has instructed students, youth leaders, parents, teachers, and school officials across the country, 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. SHP began first implementing their Know the Signs programs in early 2015, after conducting initial pilot testing in 2014. All programs are delivered at no cost to schools or community organizations. The Know the Signs programs include specific training on “Say Something”, “Start With Hello”, “Youth Mental Health First Aid”, and “Safety Assessment and Intervention”. “Say Something” focuses on teaching youths how to identify students who are displaying at-risk behavior, especially on social media, and notify a trusted adult. “Start With Hello” aims to teach and institute inclusion within a school and community to promote connectedness and prevent social isolation. Sandy Hook Promise’s programs are proven to be effective, and have resulted in helping stop a school shooting, multiple suicide and firearm threats, while also intervening to help individuals get mental health assistance.
Of the 1 million+ people trained in at least one of SHP’s Know the Signs programs, over 900,000 are youths. These children and teens are changing the way that our country thinks about mental health and wellness and, thanks to their training, are able to prevent violence before it starts.
This fall, SHP is continuing its roll out of the Know the Signs programs in all of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in the country. In addition, SHP will also begin delivering its programs in Los Angeles Unified Public Schools and at the beginning of 2017, and are planning roll out in five other districts later that year.
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
Aimee Thunberg, Senior Director, Communications, Sandy Hook Promise | [email protected] | 646-761-5579