Lutheran Suicide Prevention: Guns and Suicide Deaths
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More than 60 percent of people in this country who die from guns die by suicide.

 In recent years, as the gun homicide rate has flattened out, the gun suicide rate appears to be increasing back up slightly.

Measures meant to prevent gun homicides might have an effect on gun suicides, particularly those designed to identify and help people with mental health needs.

Mental illness
 is a clear risk factor for suicide.


Guns are more lethal than most other methods people try, so someone who attempts suicide another way is more likely to survive.

 People with deadly means at hand when the impulse strikes are more likely to use them than those who have to wait or plan.

That means that strategies that make suicide more inconvenient or difficult can save lives.

Guns, when they are in the home, can make self-harm both easy and deadly. (see above graph)

What to do to keep your home safe:

Store all guns under lock and key.

Separate the ammunition from the guns and keep it in a hidden place.

Do not talk about having guns with friends or especially  persons at risk for suicide or experiencing a mood disorder. 

If you can part with the guns, turn them in to a police station. 

Agree with friends who have guns that you will all keep your homes safe and practice gun safety rules.

Educate children on the dangers of firearms and what they should do if they ever encounter one. If a child sees a gun they should: Stop, not touch it, leave the area, and tell an adult.

Copyright © 2016 Lutheran Suicide Prevention Ministry, All rights reserved.

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