The kids are not alright in new Sandy Hook PSAs

(Sandy Hook Promise)

Today, leading gun violence prevention organization, Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), is launching its latest PSA campaign titled The Kids Are Not Alright to bring awareness to the mounting mental health challenges facing America’s youth and teens. 

Being a teenager is extremely hard during “normal” times, but over the last year, youth have faced countless added stressors: COVID-19, schools shutting down, isolation, racial injustices, economic uncertainty, and others. As a result, the levels of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide have skyrocketed. Compared with 2019, the proportion of mental health-related Emergency Department visits for children aged 5–11 and 12–17 years increased approximately 24% and 31%, respectively*.

The current emotional situation among youth is a “powder keg,” which will give rise to various forms of violence: not just shootings, but suicide, self-harm, and depression. As a whole, the kids of our country are not alright.

That’s why SHP is releasing three new PSAs, created with our friends at  BBDO New York. to raise parent’s awareness of this rising threat, and educate them on signs of emotional distress. Because, once you know the signs, you can prevent ALL forms of violence against youth.

The creative comes to life as “How To” videos equating the pent-up stress and anxiety within youngsters to a lethal powder keg. Have a look at the disturbing, but powerful creative:

Powerful stuff.

“Teenagers are in crisis right now and most people aren’t even aware of it. So we wanted to spark the conversation and raise awareness about the signs of distress and how Sandy Hook Promise can help these kids overcome them,” said Peter Alsante, Senior Creative Director, BBDO New York.

Taking a unique visual approach, each spot is carefully crafted to feel real, relatable, and accurate. The work impressively features stock-imagery at its finest—eliciting a genuine emotional response to increase empathy, vigilance, and we hope, action—all on a pro-bono budget.

It follows prior highly recognized gun violence PSAs from SHP and BBDO including Emmy-winning “Back to School Essentials” (2019), among others. 

The campaign was directed by Jakob Marky of Sweetshop. It debuted on ABC’s Good Morning America yesterday and will run on social and digital.


CLIENT: Sandy Hook Promise


  • Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
  • SVP Senior Creative Director: Peter Alsante
  • Creative Director: Kara Goodrich
  • Creative Director: Cesar Finamori
  • SVP, Group Executive Producer: Alex Gianni
  • Producer: Tatiana Lanier
  • Production Coordinator: Annie Hutchings
  • Music Producer: Julia Millison
  • Business Manager: Grace Kelly
  • SVP Senior Director: Lindsey Cash
  • VP Account Director: Ann Kim
  • VP Planning Director: Ben Bass
  • Planner: Kamillah Collins


  • Director: Jakob Marky
  • Executive Producers: Jeff Miller, George Meeker
  • Producer: Matt Zion-Basile

CO-PRODUCTION COMPANY: Office of Development & Design (ODD)

  • Design Director: Gary Breslin
  • Executive Producers: Matthew Turke, Tim Case
  • Producer: Linden Carty

EDIT: School Editing, Toronto

  • “Circuit” & “Disappear” Editor: Ben Canny
  • “Bomb” Editor: Stacey Foster Jackson (via ODD)
  • Co-Editors: Chelsea Smith (via ODD), Taylor McWade
  • Executive Producer, Partner: Sarah Brooks

DESIGN & ANIMATION: Office of Development & Design (ODD)

  • Creative Director: Gary Breslin
  • Animators: Hayato Yamane, Paul Todaro

FINISHING: Fort York, Toronto

  • Flame Artists: Melissa Vasiliev, Luke White, James Marin
  • Producer: Armen Bunag
  • Executive Producer: Erica Bourgault-Assaf      

TELECINE: Alter Ego, Toronto

  • Senior Colorist: Conor Fisher
  • Color Assistant: Daniel Saavedra
  • Producer: Spencer Butt
  • Senior Producer: Jane Garrah

MIX/SOUND DESIGN: Sound Lounge, New York

  • Engineer / Sound Designer: Pete Crimi
  • Engineer / Sound Designer: Justin Kooy
  • Executive Producer: Susie Shuttlewroth
  • Senior Producer: Lauren Mullen
  • Casting Director: Alexa Magnotto
  • Producer: Camila Dayson Aravena
  • Production Coordinator: Matt Smith

Footage Sourced & Licensed by Stalkr

  • Producer: George Alvarez
  • Researchers: Aaron Sharper, Jen Van Horn, Jeffrey Harland, Itzel Sarabia, Matt Gee, Nathalie Dortonne, Mike Kho
  • Executive Producer: Colleen Cavanaugh Anthony
  • Production Manager: Chelsea Van Arsdol
  • Production Coordinator: Randall Collett

Content Curation by Catch & Release

Additional Footage Sourced & Licensed by Getty, Shutterstock, Film Supply, Dissolve, Stocksy, and Adobe


  • Client Business Lead: Bob Estrada
  • Strategy Director: Nichole Verost

PR AGENCY: Dini von Mueffling Communications

  • Founder & CEO: Dini von Mueffling
  • Publicist: Stephanie Morris