What is our role?

Pharmacies, firearm retailers and shooting ranges can all play a role to prevent suicide

Pharmacies

Pharmacists, pharmacy techs and other staff are in an optimal position to recognize when a patient may be struggling. Pharmacists tend to see patients on a regular basis for refills, whereas doctors may have contact only once a year. That means pharmacists and their staff can build relationships with those they serve and are more likely to see when they are acting out of the norm. Pharmacists can also help by dispensing pills in blister packs, limiting prescription quantities to a monthly supply and setting system alarms to indicate when a patient isn’t taking their medication as directed.

Learn more about how you can help by downloading pharmacy tip sheets and other materials here.

Firearm Dealers

No firearm dealer wants to sell a firearm that will be used for suicide. While not all suicides are preventable, firearm retailers can play a role in suicide prevention by reducing the odds that a gun bought at their store today will be used in a suicide tomorrow. Strategies retailers can use include slowing down sales when a patron seems to be struggling or is exhibiting warning signs of suicide, encouraging safe storage (gun safes, gun locks, etc.) with every purchase, displaying and distributing prevention materials for the public, and providing firearm safety courses that include suicide prevention.

Learn more about how you can help by downloading firearm dealer tip sheets and other materials here.

Gun ranges

We all know you can’t call a bullet back. Range operators are in a unique position to help as they are more likely to see patrons regularly than with other firearm-related services. Strategies operators can use include slowing down rentals when a patron seems to be having difficulties with their mental health or are exhibiting warning signs of suicide. They can also encourage safe storage (gun safes, gun locks, etc.) with every client, display and distribute prevention materials for the public and at gun range events and provide firearm safety courses that include suicide prevention information.

Learn more about how you can help by downloading range operator tip sheets and other materials here.

Steps Toward Safe Storage: Medication & Firearms

Prevent suicide & overdoses by:

  1. Locking up medication, aside from a one-week supply
  1. If someone in your household is experiencing a mental health crisis, limit their access to one-day’s dosage
  1. Disposing of leftover Rx at a prescription disposal site or by requesting a Deterra drug deactivation system from SCM today
  1. Ask your pharmacist to use a blister pack for your pills, rather than a bottle.
  1. Ask your doctor to limit prescriptions to no more than one-month’s dosage

Basic rules of firearm storage:

  1. Lock up all firearms
  1. Unload ammunition and store it separately from firearms when not in use
  1. If someone in your household is struggling, consider temporarily giving available firearms to a trusted friend or family member outside of the home. If that doesn’t work, get a gun lock and ask someone you trust to hold the keys and combinations
  1. If you use a firearm for home safety, purchase a fast access firearm safe in which only you have the combination

How to help if you’re concerned:

  1. Transfer the firearm to a friend, a loved one or local law enforcement to store temporarily
  1. Unload ammunition and store it away from the firearms
  1. If someone in your household is struggling, consider temporarily giving available firearms to a trusted friend or family member outside of the home. If that doesn’t work, get a gun lock and ask someone you trust to hold the keys and combinations
  1. If you use a firearm for home safety, use a fast access firearm safe where only you have the combination