Outreach is one important, vital and proven means of “reaching” the otherwise unreachable. It is proactive, not reactive, a preventative intervention, its about finding a Cho, Lanza etc. before they strike, and perhaps, turning them away from harming others or themselves.
Fiscally, the return on investment in prevention is dramatic. Money put into preemptive action against social ills yields anywhere from real bucks savings and dividends… 300 to 1000% return is a good deal on any investment, and it saves lives.
It can address virtually any social need in almost any setting. Given the incredible explosion of social networking applications, its reach is only as limited as the imagination of those using it. The key is recognizing that it’s possible to prevent mass shootings. Reaching out proactively, creatively, compassionately, persistently, and effectively — before the tragedy — has never been easier, cheaper. or more available to service providers.
No Data Proves Outreach Can Prevent Mass Shootings
Outreach done really well targets much more than an individual or group, but a community. If someone is isolated. you may not reach them directly, but your outreach engages those who have relationships with them — “gatekeepers” or significant others.
That can also prevent mass shootings.
A similar approach is being used now in New Hampshire and elsewhere to prevent teen suicide.
We don’t know how well we can prevent mass shootings because outreach workers rarely run agencies. Prevention has never been given a fair trial. It seems policy-makers and administrators are never convinced to invest in prevention. No matter how logical and inexpensive it is, there is never enough “data” to support it because it never gets a fair trial.