Though a person may experience repeated occurrences of suicidal thoughts, the acute intention to end his or her life — a suicidal crisis — is temporary. Therefore, a key strategy for suicide prevention is creating suicide-safe environments, which lessen an at-risk person’s ability to attempt suicide. Increasing the time or effort required to act upon suicidal intent can create a window of opportunity for the suicidal crisis to pass or for a friend, family member, or other person to intervene. Suicide-safe environments also reduce the likelihood that a person who does attempt suicide will die. Most people who survive a suicide attempt do not go on to die by suicide. Ensuring that suicide attempt survivors receive appropriate professional care and other support services is critical to promoting recovery.
(See Wisconsin Suicide Prevention Strategy, Page 14)
Creating Suicide Safe Inpatient Units
A new study shows a sharp decline in suicides at Veterans Affairs inpatient mental health units from 2000 to 2015, thanks to the Mental Health Environment of Care Checklist.
Simple Checklist Leads to 82% Drop in Mental Health Patient Suicides
To find a copy of the checklist go to: www.patientsafety.va.gov/professionals/onthejob/mentalhealth.asp.
Obtaining Gunlocks and Medication Disposal
Project Child Safe A nonprofit organization committed to promoting firearms safety among firearms owners through the distribution of safety educate messages and free firearm safety kits. The free firearm safety kits include cable gun locks but these are only available through law enforcement partners.
Organizations can also purchase gunlocks directly from the following source:
REGAL INDUSTRIAL SALES, INC., PO Box 355, 687 Rowley Road, Victor, NY 14564
Cell: (585) 749.6543
The “15 second brochure” is a factual and clever way to promote the value of using gun locks. Contact MHA if you are interested in purchasing copies of this brochure.
Prescription Drugs: You can learn about the Department of Justice’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day at https://www.doj.state.wi.us/dles/prescription-drug-take-back-day. There is contact information on this page for the DOJ staff person with whom you can talk about medication disposal options. The DOJ efforts apply to households only. For information about proper drug disposal for businesses go to: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/healthwaste/businesspharm.html
Safety planning is a tool to engage individuals who may be suicidal in identifying the things they can do to recognize their own warning signs and establish a plan to keep themselves safe. Safety planning includes a discussion about means restriction. Templates for evidence-based safety plans can be found in the Zero Suicide toolkit: http://zerosuicide.sprc.org/toolkit/engage. Look under the “Tools” section.
Means Matter Most efforts to prevent suicide focus on why people take their lives. But as we understand more about who attempts suicide and when and where and why, it becomes increasingly clear that how a person attempts–the means they use–plays a key role in whether they live or die. “Means reduction” is an important part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. Harvard School of Public Health
New Hampshire Gun Shop Project: Collaborating with gun shop and shooting range owners can save lives. These businesses have demonstrated an interest in keeping their customers safe. Learn about the work of the New Hampshire Firearms Safety Coalition.
CALM: Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (SPRC): Free, 2 hour, online training. It is designed especially for providers who counsel people at risk for suicide, primarily mental health and medical providers, but also clergy and social service providers.
Emergency Dept. Means Restriction Education, Evidence-Based Program
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
How to Incorporate Means Restriction into Your Community Suicide Prevention Efforts (PPT) by Debbie Rueber, Kenosha County Division of Health and Amy Schlotthauer, Injury Research Center of the Medical College of Wisconsin, 2011
From the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction:
National Center for Campus Safety