Study shows teen suicide rates higher in states with high gun ownership rates


A sense of security is one reason why many Four State residents choose to have guns in their homes. But there are also risks that go along with having them there. One you may not even consider.

According to a study by the Boston University School of Public Health, youth suicide rates are higher in states with higher gun ownership rates. And that household gun ownership was the single biggest predictor of youth suicide rate in a state. Which doesn’t come as any surprise to Ozark Center Director of Crisis Services Dr. Debbie Fitzgerald.

“When someone that’s suicidal has access to something that’s highly lethal and what I mean is typically a firearm, a majority of the time there’s usually no chance of medical rescue,” says Dr. Debbie Fitzgerald.

Among the states with high gun ownership rates and therefore higher youth suicides include the region on this map that includes two of our Four States.

Debbie Fitzgerald says the key is to try and restrict access to anything someone could use to try and commit suicide.

“To try and lock up sharp objects, knives, ropes, razors, prescriptions, over the counter medications in high quantities and particularly firearms, if you just store them securely so they don’t have access to them,” says Dr. Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald says the Crisis Center will provide gun locks and bags that can render prescription drugs useless free of charge.

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