COLORADO: Gun Shops Work with Doctors to Prevent Suicide by Firearm

December 14, 2018
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Colorado

NPR

Medical providers and firearms experts are teaming up to prevent suicide in Colorado. The Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition is helping to educate doctors and medical students about preventing firearm suicide among patients. A collaboration between public health professionals and firearms experts, the coalition offers training to increase providers’ knowledge and understanding of guns. Building cultural competence can help doctors more effectively counsel patients at risk for suicide on reducing access to guns. According to coalition cofounder Emmy Betz, counseling patients on safe storage practices is an issue of safety, not politics. "If you want to reduce suicide deaths, you have to talk about firearms," said Betz, an emergency physician and public health researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "And if you want to reduce firearm deaths, you have to talk about suicide.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition.

Settings:  Health Care, Primary Care, Emergency Departments
Strategies:  Reduce Access to Means