To observe this year’s National Suicide Prevention Month, Venerable Thubten Chodron shares this information from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility:
On average, someone dies by suicide every eight hours in Washington State and almost half of those suicides are carried out with a firearm. That means – statistically speaking – that today someone in Washington State will take their own life with a firearm.
Easy access to firearms for individuals at high risk, limited tools to remove firearms from people in crisis, and the high lethality of firearms in suicide attempts create a situation where, too often, people in crisis are dying without the opportunity to get the help they need. In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month this September, we are highlighting life-saving policies designed to prevent firearm suicide.
Voluntary Waivers and Temporary Emergency Transfers allow people in crisis to take their safety into their own hands and act before a dangerous situation occurs. Meanwhile, Extreme Risk Protection Orders allow family members or law enforcement to initiate the process to remove guns from a person in crisis.
Just in the past year, two new laws have been created to help prevent suicide. The safe storage provision of I-1639 creates a meaningful barrier between suicidal thoughts and action. And individuals subjected to a 72-hour Involuntary Hold will be temporarily prohibited from possessing or purchasing firearms possession for six months.
Washington State continues to lead the way in gun violence prevention, but there is more work to be done. Please visit our website, Alliance for Gun Responsibility, to learn more about suicide prevention and ways you can get involved.
And if you or someone you know need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Follow this link for more information about what is being done to prevent suicide by firearm in the state of Washington: Suicide Prevention