Suicide Prevention Resources for Individuals

Protecting Yourself and Those Around You

Understanding Suicide

From American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

There’s no single cause for suicide. We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance use problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives.

So have your buddy’s back. Trust your gut. If you’re worried, it’s okay to have a brave conversation and ask them directly about suicide. We know through research that asking won’t put the idea in their head, or push them to act on it. In most cases, they’ll feel relieved that someone cares enough to bring it up.

So learn the common risk factors and warning signs for suicide, so you know them when you see them. Encourage your friends to store their guns safely and securely, locked and unloaded. During a crisis, help them remove firearms from the home until the period of distress resolves. Help them get the support they need — when they need it.

Do the same for yourself. Pay attention to how you’re feeling. If you’re going through a tough time and exhibiting some of the warning signs, ask a buddy for help. Ask him to connect you with support and to help store your guns safely until you feel more like yourself again.

Remember: those who don’t have immediate access to a means of killing themselves don’t simply find another way. Most live through it and regain their usual ways of coping. Removing access to firearms and all other lethal means and providing support helps get people past the intense, temporary moment of suicidal crisis…and can save a life.

Storing firearms safely

Gun owners can choose from multiple options for safely storing and protecting firearms when they’re not in use: cable locks, lock boxes, gun cases and full size gun safes. Temporary offsite storage of firearms should be considered during the period of suicide risk.

AFSP & NSSF Firearms and Suicide Prevention brochure

There’s no single cause. Suicide most often occurs when several stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common health condition associated with suicide, and is often undiagnosed or untreated. Most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance use problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide.

Download Brochure