1 abril, 2023

Brady Calls for Attention to Missouri Gun Suicide Crisis


This National Suicide Prevention Month, the gun violence prevention community is focusing attention on the epidemic of firearm suicide in Missouri, which is the leading cause of firearm deaths in the state.

The inaugural Firearm Suicide Prevention Day, established by Brady and End Family Fire, is being observed this year on Tuesday, September 13. The day was created to promote the importance of storing firearms safely — guns should be locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition — which is an essential component of suicide prevention. Firearm suicide is a leading kind of “family fire,” which is a shooting in the home involving an improperly stored or misused gun that results in death or injury.

In April, Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) launched End Family Fire Missouri, an innovative, two-year public health campaign in partnership with the Ad Council and Brady to address Missouri’s firearm suicide crisis. The initiative includes Missouri-specific public service announcements, which have aired on TV and radio stations across the state, as well as social media campaigns and a dedicated website: www.endfamilyfire.org/mo.

“Suicides are the leading cause of gun deaths in Missouri, with firearms involved in more than six out of 10 suicides in the state,” said MFH Senior Strategist – Initiatives Jessi LaRose. “These numbers underscore the urgent need for safer firearm storage in homes all across Missouri. It’s a leading solution to preventing firearm suicide and saving lives.”

Nationwide, approximately 65 people die from gun suicide every day. In Missouri, the 2020 firearm suicide rate was 1.5 times higher than the national rate. Missouri also has the 11th highest suicide by firearm rate and the 16th highest suicide rate in the nation.

Access to a firearm in the household increases the risk of death by suicide by 300%, and loaded and unlocked guns account for 75% of youth firearm suicides in which the gun storage method was identified. When we store our guns safely, we save lives.

“In the U.S., every year, more than 600 children under age 17 and an additional 1,100 young adults under 21 die from gun suicide, most of which could have been prevented if the gun in the home was stored more safely,” said Brady Director of End Family Fire Colleen Creighton. “Putting time and space between someone in crisis and access to a firearm can help save their life.”

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the free and confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or text the Crisis Textline by texting HOME to 741741.

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