Say Something! -- preventing violence before it happens:

This article is reprinted from the “Say Something” website… while I haven’t fully “vetted” this program, if your school or organization is interested, I will be happy to assist you… I also have the material and can teach the Eddie Eagle Program — a gun safety program designed for pre-k through fourth grade.

Did you know that when it comes to violence, suicide and threats, most are known by at least shp_2016_say_something_week_logoone other individual before the incident occurs. In fact, in 4 out of 5 school shootings, the attacker told people of his/her plans ahead of time. Additionally, 70% of people who commit suicide told someone of their plans or gave some type of warning or indication. Imagine how much tragedy could be averted if these individuals said something?

Say Something teaches students, grades 6 -12, how to look for warning signs, signals and threats, especially in social media, from individuals who may want to hurt themselves or others and to Say Something to a trusted adult to get them 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.

National Say Something Week is organized by Sandy Hook Promise ( and will take place October 24 – 28, 2016. Hundreds of schools and youth organizations across the United States will be participating in Say Something Week. Will you join them?

Say Something Week raises awareness and educates students and the community through training, media events, advertising, public proclamations, contests and school awards. Say Something Week reinforces the power young people have to prevent tragedies and Say Something to a trusted adult to protect a friend from hurting them self or others!

Say Something is a no-cost and easy to implement program that is available to all middle schools, high schools and youth organizations serving youth grades 6 – 12. In addition to young people, Say Something will benefit educators, administrators, community-based organization leaders and parents. By building a culture of looking out for one another and reporting possible threats of violence when someone sees, reads or hears something, entire communities will become safer and lives will be saved.

Schools and youth organizations participating in Say Something Week agree to host a no cost, easy to implement, flexible Say Something training that can take place within the classroom, an assembly, or be led by student ambassadors. The training can be accomplished in 50 minutes or less and activities (which SHP provides or schools and organizations can create) can take place on one day or spread throughout the week. In addition to the initial training, the Say Something program offers a wide range of post training activities that can be done throughout the year and serve as reminders. Schools and youth organizations have the option of choosing the day, time and format they would like to deliver the Say Something training during the week of October 24 – 28.

Please help us empower our young people to prevent violence before it takes place. Please sign up to participate in Say Something week today at:

Who is Sandy Hook Promise?
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators.

Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) before it happens. SHP does this by educating and mobilizing parents, schools and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals.

SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information on Sandy Hook Promise, please

Read a chapter from my book regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy.

BDN Series Mentions Mentoring…

back-to-school-183533_1280“Maine Focus” is currently running a series of excellent articles “Before Addition There’s a Child.” I’m both honored and humbled to report that my experience with Bus Drive Otis Phillips was included in the installment entitled “How one caring adult can change the life of a child.” (Scroll down to the epilog, “Your Stories.”) I continue to be amazed at the impact this story is having.

My ongoing hope is captured in my observation that “We mentor people in ways we don’t even mean to.” A corollary to that is mentoring doesn’t have to be hard. By definition, mentoring is a relationship in which an experienced person helps guide someone who is less experienced.  I think something as simple as  a kind or encouraging word creates a connection that can be defined as a relationship, however brief. Let’s call it a ‘mentoring moment.”

The Maine Focus series is about “preventing one of the largest public health problems of our time.” There’s a growing body of evidence that human connection goes a long way towards combating addiction.

Mine isn’t the only story in which an adult did something that at first seems small, but turns out to have major impacts, perhaps because it is about human connection. Hearing those stories is encouraging and heartwarming. But creating our own stories can be even better. Just look for those mentoring moments.

October Learning Opportunities…

board-928390_1280Here are some learning opportunities coming up in October!

Thursday, October 13: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop at Nokomis High School in Newport from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. For more information or to register contact RSU 19 Adult Education.

Tuesday, October 18: Is There a Book in You? at Warsaw Elementary School in Pittsfield from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. For more information or to register contact MSAD 53 Adult Education.

Thursday, October 27: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop at Guilford United Methodist Church from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. For more information or to register,
contact Abbot Village PressCourse Providers

Real Estate related:

Friday, October 7: I will be teaching the two “new” core courses (continuing education) at the Ramada Inn in Bangor. For more information or to register, contact the Arthur Gary School of Real Estate.

Saturday, October 15: I will start the Associate Broker Course at the Ramada Inn in Bangor. For more information or to register, contact the Arthur Gary School of Real Estate.

This Might Be a Record -- you don't mind a little bragging, right?:

applause-431234_1280We had a great Suicide Prevention Workshop Tuesday night… and after tabulating the evaluations I’m proud to brag that 100% of those attending agree they are more comfortable talking about suicide and feel better equipped to offer help to someone who might seem suicidal.

When asked, “What did you like best about the program?” One person replied, “The knowledge shared on a very difficult subject.” That’s especially good to hear because a goal of the workshop is to make the topic at least a little less difficult.

If you missed this free workshop, there are two more opportunities to attend:

October 27, 2016, from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. school staff, volunteers, and high school students are especially invited to attend–one reason we scheduled it as an “after school” program.

November 15, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. we’ll touch one why the holidays can be a particularly difficult time of year for ome people.

Both programs will be held at the Guilford United Methodist Church. Pre-registration is very helpful, but not absolutely required. You can register online or by calling 343-1842. If you have any questions or concerns, check the FAQ or call/email!


Walter Boomsma (“Mr. Boomsma”) writes on a wide array of topics including personal development, teaching and learning. Course information is also available here!