In 2013, there was a significant increase in the number of young people who used a firearm to die by suicide. Most of the instances in which a young person died by suicide using a gun involved a family member’s firearm.
A suicide attorney knows that many people who are considering death by suicide will use a firearm when available. This is one reason why it is so important for mental health counselors and professionals to be aware of the signs of suicide and to take action. Family members who are warned that a loved one is considering death by suicide can take extra precautions with any weapons in their home.
More Deaths By Suicide Involve Firearm Use
According to NBC News, the number of teens who died by suicide involving a firearm reached a 12 year high. An estimated 876 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 took their lives using firearms.
This is the third straight year in which the number of young people who chose this method to die by suicide has increased. In approximately 82 percent of situations where a young person died by suicide involving a firearm, the gun belonged to a parent or to another family member.
The increase comes at the same time as a general spike in the suicide rate for teens. Death by suicide is now the second leading cause of teen fatalities, with only motor vehicle accidents causing more fatalities. From 2007 to 2013, the overall rate of suicide among young people between the ages of 10 and 19 increased by as much as 34 percent.
Some advocates of stricter weapons laws argue that guns in the home increase the chances that a child will be shot and killed. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine also asserts that having access to guns increases the risk of death by suicide and Fox News indicated that guns in the home could cause as much as a three-fold increase in the risk of death by suicide.
Access to firearms may result in a high number of deaths by suicide not just because people who are considering suicide may find it easier if a gun is available, but also because guns tend to be a speedy method of suicide as compared to other things like taking pills. There is less opportunity for help to come or for a young person to change his mind when a gun is used in an attempt to die by suicide.
Health care professionals need to carefully monitor young people, and people of all ages, for risks of suicidal tendencies. If a young person seems especially at risk of suicide, it becomes important to discuss options with family about restricting access to weapons as well as about getting appropriate care.
A suicide attorney at the Law Offices of Skip Simpson can help. Call (214) 618-8222 or visit http://www.skipsimpson.com to schedule a free case consultation.