Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Campaign Aims to Cut Down on Deaths by Firearms
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NAMI-WRV offered free gun locks at its Freedom from Stigma party following Hailey’s Fourth of July parade.
 
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

The 5B Suicide Prevention Alliance has launched a new campaign to prevent deaths by firearms.

The Alliance is distributing free gun locks and information at the Hailey Public Library and local law enforcement agencies.

During the past five years firearms were used in 88 percent of the 16 suicides occurring in Blaine County. They were used in 61 percent of the 1,734 cases across Idaho.

“Studies show that storing various components of firearms in separate locations and eliminating access to certain medications creates a pause during an impulsive moment. This gives a person time to think and reach out for help,” said Blaine County Sheriff Steve Harkins. “If you or someone you know is struggling with a recent life or emotional change, making guns, medications and other lethal means more difficult to access can save lives.”

NAMI has been working with the Idaho Suicide Prevention Action Collective for more than a year to implement the campaign locally. The organization has provided cost-free gun locks at all of its events, along with information promoting safe storage of lethal means, said Christina Cernansky, executive director of NAMI-WRV.

NAMI-WRV and the Alliance have also been disseminating information encouraging people to “Know the Five Signs” of mental distress that indicate someone might be contemplating suicide.

Those signs are: Not feeling like oneself. Being agitated. Withdrawal. Hopelessness. Not caring for one’s physical needs.

Major changes in someone’s behavior such as depression, violence, heavy drinking or drug use may also indicate a problem.

For resources, contact the NAMI-WRV office at 208-481-0686, the local Crisis and Referral hotline at 208-788-3596 or St. Luke’s Center for Community Health at 208-727-8733.

 

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