How Ohio gun shops are working to prevent suicides

Suicide rates in the U.S. have climbed in the past two decades. In Ohio, which has seen a 36% spike in suicides over that time period, gun sellers are now working to slow the epidemic by participating in the Gun Shop Project, a program led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The Gun Shop Project helps gun stores provide suicide prevention materials and avoid selling firearms to suicidal customers. Active in 20 states, the program is a part of the Harvard Chan School’s Means Matter Campaign.

“People in the suicide-prevention movement wouldn’t talk about guns because they thought it was too controversial, that they’d be perceived as taking a stand on gun control,” said Cathy Barber, Means Matters director, in an October 29, 2018 Cincinnati Inquirer article. “Gun groups weren’t talking about suicide. It just wasn’t on their radar. But when gun owners see the data, they’re like, ‘Hey, we need to take this on.’”

Read the Cincinnati Enquirer article: Suicide prevention: In Ohio, drawing a bull’s-eye to enlist gun owners in the cause