WASHINGTON: Gun Dealers, Suicide Prevention Advocates Partner to Save Lives

September 22, 2017
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Washington

UW News

A public education campaign in Washington State is seeking to prevent suicide by reducing access to lethal means among individuals at risk. The Safer Homes, Suicide Aware campaign was developed by Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington School of Social Work in collaboration with the Second Amendment Foundation. It offers training for health care clinicians, pharmacists, gun dealers, and firearms instructors in how to recognize and respond to the warning signs of suicide. The campaign’s outreach efforts include spreading information about the safe storage of firearms and medications in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, gun stores, and homes. In collaboration with local gun rights advocates, Safer Homes has also piloted the distribution of free firearms locks and safety cases. According to Forefront cofounder Jennifer Stuber, the field of suicide prevention should use the proactive, wide-reaching “buckle up” seat belt safety messaging as a model. “We’re pushing for a big behavior change,” said Stuber. “Let’s lock up our guns pre-emptively to protect our families and ourselves, through the lens of suicide prevention.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about the campaign.

Strategies:  Reduce Access to Means