Each year, there are approximately 500,000 acts of gun-related violence including crime, suicide and accidental shooting. Sandy Hook Promise believes all gun violence is preventable and that by focusing on identifying, intervening and helping individuals who display at-risk behaviors, we can decrease the number of violent acts nationally.
So how do we prevent it? Research supports that 80% of violent and suicidal individuals made threats and/or gave off warning signs before they hurt themselves or others. The signs and threats 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 sign or threat that possibly poses an imminent or longer-term danger?
- How do we evaluate these signs and threats?
- What actions do we take once they are seen, heard or read?
Sandy Hook Promise believes schools and community-based organizations should be trained to identify and assess individual signs and threats. That’s why we’ve partnered with experts to bring the following programs to communities. If you would like to bring these programs to your school, please reach out to these partners directly.
Safety Assessment and Intervention
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 United States. 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 and signs of an impending violent act, (b) determining the seriousness of the threat or sign and (c) developing intervention plans that protect potential victims and address the underlying problem or conflict that initiated the behavior. It is designed for adults in 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 or longer-term threat to themselves or others. This program also helps identify and prevent alcohol and drug use, physical abuse, and criminal activity, among other things.
Visit www.schoolta.com for more information.
SOS Signs of Suicide
At its core, the SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (SOS Program) relies on three easy-to-remember steps, denoted by the acronym ACT:
- Acknowledge that you are seeing warning signs and that it is serious
- Care: Let your friend know how much you care about them
- Tell a trusted adult that you are worried about your friend
SOS is an educational program that teaches students to recognize the symptoms of depression and suicide. The program can be implemented by existing school personnel within one class period.
The main teaching tool is a video that shows dramatizations and real-life stories of hope about the right and wrong ways to react when a friend exhibits certain behaviors. The program includes a mental health self-assessment that screens every student for depression and suicide. The program also includes training and educational materials for faculty, staff and parents.
An enlightened student body means earlier detection and increased help-seeking behavior. Research has shown that the SOS Program, which is listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, improves students' knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide risk and depression. It also reduces actual suicide attempts by 40%-64% in randomized controlled studies (Aseltine et al., 2007 & Schilling et al., 2016).
Visit www.mindwise.org for more information