MASSACHUSETTS: Stopping School Shootings Before They Start: Mental Health Experts Push for Preventive Measures

April 13, 2018
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Massachusetts

The Berkshire Eagle

Massachusetts schools are working to stop gun violence before it starts. Using the social and emotional learning model, many schools are implementing programs that foster inclusiveness and empathy in the school community. According to experts, the model’s emphasis on interpersonal relationships can help prevent the social isolation and alienation sometimes associated with violence. "We're working with individuals to show them how to be more empathetic with each other, how to communicate their feelings, and how listeners can respond to that communication," said Tufts University school psychology lecturer Silas Pinto. "[T]hen we can create an environment where people have a greater sense of belonging, and a greater sense of safety." Boston Public Schools are partnering with the nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise to roll out programs that help promote a safe and supportive school environment. They plan to use Sandy Hook Promise’s recommended safety assessment and intervention tools, and educate schools about the warning signs of suicide using the Signs of Suicide Prevention Program.

Spark Extra! Learn more about suicide prevention in schools.

Populations:  Youth
Settings:  Schools
Planning and Implementing:  Education and Training
Strategies:  Connectedness