Written by Nancy Lee, as part of her Social Marketing Sightings theme.
Sighted on: CNN Documentary
Social Issue: School Mass Shootings
Social Marketing Strategy: A Product to Help Bystanders Becoming Upstanders
Wednesday, December 14, was the day 10 years ago in 2012, of the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, one that killed 20 children six-seven years old in first grade, and six adult staff members. The 20-year-old gunman used his mother’s Bushmaster AR-15 a 10mm pistol, and additional equipment including ten magazine storage units, each containing 30 rounds. Follow-up investigations revealed that this was a planned attack, the shooter had an obsession with the Combine High School shooting in Colorado, and that there were many mental health red flags that failed to activate interventions.
A positive outcome of this failure to intervene was the formation by the family members and loved one of victims of a national, non-profit organization, Sandy Hook Promise, with a purpose to reduce gun violence and a focus on heading off acts of violence before they happen. As was shared on the CNN documentary, one of the “products” developed by the organization was an app “Say Something”.
Say Something Anonymous Reporting System for grades 6-12 teaches students how to recognize warning signs and threats of someone who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others. What this program provides, uniquely, is the ability to report anonymously using a downloadable app, telephone hotline or website. The program is directed by a former law enforcement official and professionals receiving the message are trained crisis counselors, fluent in multiple languages, trained in suicide prevention, crisis management, and mental health support. The system enables students to anonymously report an issue 24/7/365. A list of issues comes up with more than 30 options including ones for Planned School Attacks, “Intent to Harm someone”, Gang Violence, Suicide/Suicide Ideation. Tips are uploaded with secure intel to a live 24/7 crisis center where all tips reported are managed until the cases are resolved.
The organization reports that as of September 2022, 115,000 anonymous tips have been received, and 361 lives have been confirmed as saved. https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/: