269272 Evaluation of a Suicide Prevention Partnership with Gun Shops in New Hampshire

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Mary Vriniotis, MS , Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Catherine Barber, MPA , Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Elaine Frank , Injury Prevention Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
Background: About 10% of NH firearm suicides involved a gun purchased the same week. A committee of gun dealers and suicide prevention professionals developed prevention materials aimed at dealers and their customers and found many dealers were willing to display project materials. Final products were mailed and an evaluation was conducted to gauge their use. Methods: All storefront retailers in NH were identified (n=69) and visited unannounced. All were provided with additional campaign materials and asked to provide feedback on the materials mailed out the previous summer. Results: Over half (51%) of dealers had at least one product we created on display at their shop. Forty-four percent of those we asked (n=34) said they have stored guns upon police or customer request, and another 21% would consider doing so. A comparison with pre-campaign data showed no change in agreement with the sentiment that removing access to lethal means could save a life (57% agreed pre and post). Those who agreed with this sentiment were much more likely to display our products than those who did not (80% vs. 40%). Conclusions: Dealers' interest in displaying suicide prevention materials depends largely on their belief that restricting access to lethal means is a useful prevention strategy, and secondarily on their willingness to broach difficult subject matter with customers. Virtually all have personal experience with suicide, and most are supportive of our intent if not our materials. There is much to be learned from the gun owning community on appropriate messaging regarding suicide prevention.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the importance of working with gun owners to develop materials aimed at reducing firearm suicide. Compare successful and unsuccessful dissemination strategies for suicide prevention materials tailored to gun owners. Identify reasons why gun dealers may or may not see a role for themselves in suicide prevention.

Keywords: Firearms, Suicide

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project manager for a national campaign on reducing access to lethal means as a suicide prevention strategy for over five years (www.meansmatter.org).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3043.0: Suicide prevention