Reducing Access to Guns Key to Reducing Successful Suicide Attempts

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

J. John Mann MD Paul Janssen Professor of Translational Neuroscience Director, Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology Division Department of Psychiatry Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institut

Dr. Mann

J. John Mann MD
Paul Janssen Professor of Translational Neuroscience
Director, Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology Division
Department of Psychiatry
Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In 2014 there were 21,000 firearm suicides in the USA. Overseas, programs that have resulted in major reductions in firearm availability have reduced firearm suicide rates which have also been shown in the USA to be closely correlated with risk of firearm suicide. Reducing access to firearms to those at risk for suicide would help reduce firearm suicide rates in the USA. Most such suicides involve a firearm purchased many years earlier. We recommend methods for reducing such access including improved gun safety and smart gun technology.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Firearm suicide is preventable because it is an extremely lethal method. Making it less available will force individuals to use less lethal methods with a better chance of survival. Suicidal feelings are transient and if no method is identified and employed then there is a chance that the suicidal urge will diminish and the person will seek help instead. And if they do make a suicide attempt, surviving a suicide attempt is associated with a low chance of future suicide.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Rapid and extensive implementation of s series of gun safety measures the USA and determine the impact of such public health initiatives on firearm suicide rates.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:
Prevention of Firearm Suicide in the United States: What Works and What Is Possible
J. John Mann, M.D., Christina A. Michel, B.A.
Published online: July 22, 2016 | http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16010069

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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