OPPA joins in on Sandy Hook Promise to "Say Something" to save lives
OPPA is among the ten statewide professional organizations serving providers, youth, schools and families that have partnered with Sandy Hook Promise to ask schools and youth organizations across Ohio to take part in National Say Something Week Monday Oct. 19 through Friday, Oct. 23.
When it comes to acts of violence, including suicide and threats to others, most are communicated in some way before the incident occurs. In fact, in 4 out of 5 school shootings, the attacker told people of his/her plans ahead of time and 70% of people who die by suicide told someone of their intention or gave some type of warning or indication. Imagine how many of these tragedies could be averted if someone said something?
That’s the problem Sandy Hook Promise wants to solve. Their free program, “Say Something”, teaches students in grades 6 -12 how to recognize warning signs, signals and threats, especially in social media, from friends or individuals who may want to hurt themselves or others and then to intervene and Say Something to a trusted adult to get help. The program is based on research conducted by Dr. Dewey Cornell and Dr. Reid Meloy, two leading national experts in threat assessment and intervention.
“Most of the time, warning signs of violence are communicated in advance, such as on social media, or can be observed in a person’s behavior. Unfortunately, not everyone knows what to do with that information,” said Mark Barden, Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of 7-year-old Daniel Barden who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “Young people are the eyes and ears of their schools and community. We can teach them how to properly identify and report threats, keeping themselves, their friends and their family safe. They have the power to save lives.”
All schools and youth organizations across Ohio are encouraged to register to participate in Say Something Week at www.sandyhookpromise.org/saysomethingweek and help their students be trained in how to prevent tragedies and “Say Something” to a trusted adult. By participating they may also be eligible to apply for a special $10,000 “Say Something” award.
Participating schools and youth organizations will be given digital access to no-cost and easy to implement "Say Something" training materials, presentations and a planning guide. The training can be done in an assembly, classroom or through student leaders and only takes 25-45 minutes. If help is needed, Sandy Hook Promise can work with the school to deliver the program and/or provide a trainer, if available. All training materials and resources are completely free.