In our region, the majority of people who die by suicide use firearms (61%) or poisoning (19%) as their lethal means.¹
“Means Safety” is about limiting people’s access to lethal means. In our region that means securing guns and medications.
Means safety is the most effective method
of preventing suicides from occurring.
As part of our services, we promote safe and responsible care of guns, medications and other lethal means.
Safety devices to community members such as locking medication boxes, trigger locks & cable locks.
Low and no-cost Suicide Prevention and Means Safety training.
Support Material for gun retailers.
Consulting services to businesses and organizations that want to build comprehensive suicide prevention policies and Means Safety Guidelines.
Talking helps promote help-seeking behavior.
Talking about the problem of suicide saves lives and reduces stigma.
Talking helps heal the survivors by opening the door to recovery.
Teaching our community members how to have these life saving conversations is vital to our mission.
Teens WILL tell a parent or caregiver if they are having thoughts of suicide.
In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2013), 22% of 12th graders across Virginia’s Health Planning Region One (HPR1), said they had thoughts of suicide at some time. Of those, 64% said they would tell a parent or relative if they felt like they were going to engage in suicidal behavior.
Talking about suicide does NOT make it happen.
A Rand Corporation study on individuals who are in an ideal position to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide, noted a 34.8% reduction in serious attempts for 12th graders among teachers who are trained in suicide intervention skills.
ANYONE can be vulnerable to having thoughts about suicide.
Nationally, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens. In Virginia’s HPR 1, the majority of those who died by suicide are middle-aged white males.¹ Those aged 60 years or more are also at high risk for suicide. People from any religion, social or economic status, or race may be susceptible.
Suicides far OUTNUMBER homicides in Virginia.
In 2012, there were 320 homicides and 1,089 suicides reported in Virginia that year. Statistically, anywhere from 5-25% more suicides occur in a year that are not reported as such.²
Means Safety SAVES LIVES.
When firearms are accessible, individuals are more than 3 times likely to die by suicide.³ Firearms are used in more than half of Virginia HPR 1, completed suicides.
1.Virginia Violent Death Reporting System (2013), 2.CDC (2013), 3. Anglemyer, A. Horvath, T., and Rutherford, G. (2014)