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New “Warning Signs” Program Available to Help Prevent Youth Violence

In response to national concern over the alarming number of recent school shootings, the American Psychological Association (APA) and MTV: Music Television launched “Warning Signs,” a public education campaign aimed at stopping youth violence before it happens. The goal is to educate youth about the warning signs of violence and what to do if they recognize these signs in their peers or themselves. With the new school year just getting under way, the Warning Signs project provides a prime opportunity for cities to take a pro-active approach in preventing youth violence by helping to convene Warning Signs activities.

“Engaging youth throughout the country in a dialogue about violence is the necessary first step in addressing this problem,” says Dr. Russ Newman, Ph.D., J.D., APA executive director of professional practice. “The more young people understand about violent behavior and its warning signs, the better prepared they’ll be to help prevent it.”

Thousands of psychologists across the country are partnering with schools, school districts, cable affiliates, churches and community groups to conduct Warning Signs forums with youth and other concerned individuals in their communities. During these forums, a documentary on warning signs co-produced by APA and MTV is screened, followed by a facilitated discussion with youth about the warning signs. Psychologists have also been encouraged to connect with mayors to partner in conducting forums or adopting a proclamation supporting the Warning Signs initiative. Each psychologist is provided with a sample proclamation in their Warning Signs planning kits.

To learn more about this important project, call the APA Campaign Services Bureau toll-free at 877.274.8787, ext. 136 for more information.

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