Have you seen the Public Service Announcement (PSA) by Saugus High School shooting survivor Mia Tretta. Two students, including Mia’s best friend Dominic Blackwell, were killed in the 2019 school shooting, five students were injured. Mia has been on a mission to stop school shootings by raising awareness of the impact of gun violence. This PSA highlights the Los Angeles County START campaign, an acronym for “School Threat Assessment Response Team.”
The School Threat Assessment Response Team (START) was designed to address the need for comprehensive threat prevention and management program in school settings. This is achieved by utilizing LACDMH staff to provide threat prevention and management assistance to educational institutions and law enforcement agencies throughout the county. START staff, in collaboration with schools and first responders, have responded to numerous incidents in elementary, middle, high school, college and trade school campuses — preventing stated or perceived threats from escalating into more serious and potentially violent situations. – information retrieved from LA County Government SCHOOL THREAT ASSESSMENT RESPONSE TEAM (START)
Key Components of START include:
- Training and program consultation: START provides educational and training programs for select audiences, including school faculty, administrators, campus security, first responders, parents and students. These training programs are designed to improve understanding about the dynamics, behaviors and characteristics of school shooters, as well as improving situational awareness and timely responses to improve campus safety and wellbeing.
- Early screening and identification: START provides case-by-case consultations for individuals or situations of concern. Educational institutions are supported in adopting a multidisciplinary approach to help prevent and mitigate potentially volatile situations.
- Assessment: START can assist schools in creating or completing a complete assessment of individual, familial, situational and social factors relevant to the perceived, implied or stated threat.
- Intervention: In collaboration with educational institutions and law enforcement agencies, START can provide appropriate responses to threats of violence. The response options can include further assessment and ongoing monitoring, counseling, psychiatric treatment, anger management training and arrest/detention.
- Case Management and Monitoring: START staff can also provide post-intervention services such as case consultation and management, linkages to relevant support services and periodic follow-ups and reviews.
- Learn more about START by viewing the video or documents below. If you have additional questions about this program, please email START@dmh.lacounty.gov.