Suicide, psychiatric hospitalization increase among Wisconsin youths, beat national average
Safe Communities launched a replication of New Hampshire’s Project Connect Gun Shop Project in 2016. The program is promoted on Harvard University’s Means Matters website as a means reduction strategy.
The project was featured in a Wisconsin State Journal article by David Wahlberg: “The Gun Shop Project is an educational campaign involving posters, brochures and tip sheets discussing proper handling and storage of guns and advice on preventing their use in suicides. Retailers are urged to use extra caution in deciding whether to sell guns to people exhibiting signs they may be suicidal.
The signs include:
“Regular customers are asked to store guns outside of their home if a loved one is struggling emotionally with job loss, legal trouble, a relationship breakup or other kind of crisis.”
In 2017, we made another round of visits to all Dane County gun shops to replenish supplies and gather feedback about their experience as Gun Shop Project participants. Jean Papalia, our Gun Shop Project coordinator, visited 15 shops and secured commitment to continue with the program from the majority.
We have also expanded partnerships with two gun shops to include provision of safe gun storage for people experiencing a suicidal crisis, and development of guides and “contracts” to facilitate the process of safe storage.
Chuck Lovelace, owner of Essential Shooting Supplies and champion of The Gun Shop Project, received a BeSafe Award on October 19th, 2017 to recognize his unique contribution to suicide prevention.
Dane County Suicide Crisis Line: (608) 280-2600
National Suicide Prevention Line:
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We are currently focusing on three major program initiatives:
Safe Communities is coordinating a Zero Suicide partnership that includes all area health care systems, as well as community organizations with a role to play in suicide prevention. The initiative is modeled after Henry Ford Health Care System’s program, which demonstrated an 80% reduction in suicide among health care plan members.
Safe Communities offers a free QPR (Question Persuade Refer) training where participants learn the warning signs for suicide, how to offer hope, and how to seek help to save a life.
QPR is CPR for Suicide Prevention.
Safe Communities launched a replication of New Hampshire’s Project Connect Guns Shop Project in 2016. The program is promoted on Harvard University’s Means Matters website as a means reduction strategy.