Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for all ages. One of the most common places that people are dying by suicide is in the household. If anyone in your household is experiencing a mental health problem or life crisis or having thoughts of suicide, families can make their homes safe just by following a few suggestions to make their home safer and reduce the risk of suicide.
Why It's Important
Here are some of the reasons why reducing access to lethal means is important.
- Many suicide attempts take place during a short-term crisis, so it is important to consider a person's access to lethal means during these periods of increased risk.
- Access to lethal means is a risk factor for suicide.
- Reducing access to lethal means saves lives.
Sources of Risk in the Home
Research shows that having a gun or weapon in the home increases the risk of dying by suicide.
- Guns should be stored unloaded in a locked safe. Bullets should be also locked, but in a separate place.
- Gun safe keys or combination to the lock should be kept only by the adults or caregivers in the house.
- Free gun locks are often provided when purchasing a gun.
- Lock away knives, razor blades, and other sharp objects from anyone in crisis.
- Ask a close family member or trusted friend to keep firearms/weapons until the situation improves.
Caregivers of those who are having thoughts of suicide should be in charge of the medications that are kept in the home.
- Keep all medications, both prescribed and over the counter, in a locked box.
- The Caregiver should hand out and control all prescribed and over the counter medications to the person that is in crisis.
- Dispose of all expired and no longer used prescribed medications by bringing them to your local pharmacy or fire station.
Guns are used in nearly half of youth suicides nationally, according to the report, and about 90 percent of attempts with firearms are fatal. Just 4 percent of suicide attempts not involving a firearm result in death.
The risk of dying by suicide can be decreased when families and caregivers reduce access to ways that anyone can harm themselves. Following these steps can help to improve safety in your home. If you are concerned that anyone in your household has been exhibiting signs that they are thinking about suicide, or expressing feelings of hopelessness or depression, please call the National Suicide Lifeline #800-273-8255 or Text 741741 to the Crisis Text Line. If this is an immediate crisis, call 911, or contact your local County Crisis Hotline.
Who We Are
Suicide Prevention Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that helps people who are in need of preventative suicide assistance