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Project Cal-STOP

Project Cal-STOP is a violence prevention and mental health training program for students and staff in California schools.

Funded by a four-year $1 million STOP (Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing) School Violence grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to launch Project Cal-STOP, a violence prevention and mental health training program for students and staff in California schools.

Project Cal-STOP provides the following virtual trainings at no cost to support (1) secondary students to prevent school violence by delivering the Know the Signs programs in partnership with a national nonprofit agency Sandy Hook Promise (SHP); and (2) district and school staff to address student mental health through Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) trainings.

Sandy Hook Promise’s Know the Signs Programs

SHP offers two Know the Signs programs Start With Hello and Say Something under Project Cal-STOP that teach secondary students and school staff how to recognize the signs, intervene and get help for individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others.

Training slots are available for 180 secondary and kindergarten through grade eight (K–8) schools in California. For K–8 schools, trainings are only provided to students in grades six through eight.

Start With Hello trains and empowers middle and high school students on how to recognize social isolation within their classroom and school, reach out and help, and Start With Hello.

Say Something trains and empowers middle and high school students on how to look for warning signs and threats—especially in social media—to act immediately and take it seriously, and Say Something to a trusted adult.

Research indicates that students who received these trainings, compared to the control group, had more positive attitudes towards school, were more willing to report signs of mental distress and threats, and reported more positive relationships with trusted adults and peer relationships.

Training Timeline, Format, and Requirements

Start With Hello trainings will be available beginning in January 2020.
Say Something trainings will be available beginning in January 2021.

Training format:

  • 45-minute virtual training delivered by a certified SHP Trainer.
  • Training is offered for students in grades six through twelve (6–12), and grade levels can be trained all together, and there are options to deliver to students during distance learning.
  • School faculty and staff are required to attend the virtual trainings.
  • Schools will provide basic training technology (laptop, working projector, screen, microphone and speakers).

Students Against Violence Everywhere Promise Club

Students Against Violence Everywhere Promise Club As a prerequisite to receive the free training, each school must identify an adult champion who will sponsor a student-led club and officially register the club as a Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club. Schools can form a new club, or register an existing club—such as student leadership, kindness, student government, or civic club to serve as the SAVE Promise Club.

Upon registering, each school will receive a monthly newsletter with lesson plans and activity ideas. Each school will also receive the Start With Hello and Say Something Educator Guides and Student Guides to assist them in their ongoing efforts, as well as virtual support from SHP. SAVE Promise Clubs are expected to engage in a four activities per school year and to complete a quarterly survey to report back on club activities.

For more information, please visit the SHP’s Know the Signs External link opens in new window or tab. program website.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

YMHFA teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to a school-age child or youth experiencing emotional distress, showing signs of a mental illness, or in a crisis; and connect them with the appropriate care. This training is designed for adults who work with school-age children or youth that do not have a mental health background, including teachers, administrators, and all classified staff. YMHFA trainings will be delivered virtually in two-hour self paced and four-hour instructor-led instruction.  

YMHFA supports the Local Control and Accountability Plan State Priority 5 (Student Engagement) and Priority 6 (School Climate); and meets the training requirements of CDE’s Model Suicide Prevention Policy.

YMHFA trainings under Project Cal-STOP will be available beginning in January 2020. Since 2014, the CDE has provided YMHFA trainings to over 6,000 school and district staff. For more information about YMHFA please visit the Project Cal-Well web page Training tab, or email YMHFA@cde.ca.gov.

Questions: Hilva Chan | hchan@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0194 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, September 9, 2020
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