A recent study reveals that those who commit themselves with a gun are more difficult to help and differ from those who commit suicide by other means.
“Those who died with a firearm were more likely to have told other individuals about their suicidal intentions in the month before they died, although it’s unclear who they told,” said lead study author Allie Bond. She is a Ph.D. student at Rutgers University’s New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center.
According to a recent study and as reported by US News, people who take their lives with a firearm are also more likely than those who use other ways to have never attempted suicide before.
However, many of these catastrophes can be avoided.
“Educating community members to recognize risk, address proper firearm storage, and connect people at risk for suicide with treatment is a vital method for preventing these deaths and lowering suicide rates,” Bond said in a university news release.
Bond’s team looked at data from the United States’ National Violent Death Reporting System on almost 234,000 people who died by suicide between 2003 and 2018.
Researchers discovered that people who killed themselves with a gun were more likely to talk about suicide a month before dying than seek aid and mental health care.
Only 26% of individuals who committed suicide with a gun had received treatment, compared to 40% of those who committed suicide in other ways.
According to the study, 10% of those who used a gun had previously attempted suicide, compared to one-quarter of those who used other methods.
Another conclusion was that those who attempted suicide with a gun were far more likely to die on the first try. Around 90% of suicide attempts involving a firearm ended in death, compared to less than 5% of shots involving all other methods combined.
The study was published in JAMA Network Open on March 14th.
“Every person in our sample died by suicide, so each person represents a tragic ending,” study co-author Michael Anestis said. “However, our findings highlight that we struggle to prevent suicide by firearm because people who choose to use a firearm often do not show signs of suicide risk and do not seek out care that might otherwise help them.” He is an assistant professor of urban-global public health and the executive director of the gun violence research center.