Preventing suicide by limiting access to guns

Roughly half of those who die by suicide in the U.S. use a firearm. That’s why reducing access to lethal means is key to reducing suicides, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Catherine Barber.

Barber, senior researcher at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, was one of three experts interviewed about the link between suicide and gun access in a July 27, 2020 Hope Illuminated podcast hosted by Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas.

Barber spoke about her work with gun owners on devising strategies to keep firearms away from people who are going through tough times.

“Let’s ask for the help of the gun-owning community,” she said. “Let’s ask gun retailers and shooting range operators and firearms instructors: ‘You guys care about safety, you guys care about guns, you guys care about freedom. Let’s work together on how to change social norms around how we think about firearm safety.’”

Listen to the Hope Illuminated podcast: The “How” of Suicide—Why the “Means Matter”