Suicide | KUNC

Suicide

Owning a handgun significantly increases one’s risk of suicide, according to a study published Thursday that tracked new gun owners in California for more than a decade.

Mental health experts and researchers have long known that gun ownership suggests an increased risk of suicide, but the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine adds a new level of detail.

More groups of people in the U.S. are at risk for gun suicide, according to new research from Columbia University Medical Center. These include people with lower incomes, those living with disabilities, and people who are socially isolated.

The global pandemic is putting a strain on Americans’ mental health. There’s been a surge of calls to crisis lines in the past two months. Add a spike in gun sales to that , and experts say we may be at risk of a suicide epidemic.

Tiny Montpelier, Idaho, may already be taking the brunt of pandemic fallout. In that town of just 2,500 and the surrounding Bear Lake Valley — a picturesque, remote corner of the state known for its namesake turquoise lake — there were five suicides in a three-week span of April. Another two deaths are being investigated.

The United States passed an ominous milestone in 2018. According to data released in January by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a record 24,432 people died by firearm suicide in 2018.

That’s an increase of 578 from 2017 and the first time ever that more than 24,000 people have died by firearm suicide.

The CDC often takes more than a year to compile, analyze and release the data.

A new report shows youth suicide rates have spiked alarmingly in recent years, especially in the Mountain West.

Mass shootings may grab the headlines, but suicides are by far the leading category of gun death in America. However, most Americans don’t know this, according to a new national poll from APM Research Lab, Call To Mind and Guns & America.

Experts say this misperception is handcuffing suicide prevention efforts.

The poll asked more than 1,000 Americans what they think the leading cause of gun deaths is.

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The firing of a Colorado doctor who wanted to prescribe life-ending drugs to a man suffering from incurable cancer has touched off a legal battle testing the state's medically assisted suicide law.

Centura Health, a Christian-affiliated health system in Colorado and Kansas, fired Dr. Barbara Morris last week after she and her patient, 64-year-old Neil Mahoney, tried to get a state court to weigh in on whether the organization could stop her from helping Mahoney.

The nation's foremost public health agency shies away from discussing the important link in this country between suicide and access to guns.

That's according to documents obtained by NPR that suggest the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instead relies on vague language and messages about suicide that effectively downplay and obscure the risk posed by firearms.

Guns in the United States kill more people through suicide than homicide.

There were three high-profile shootings across the country in one week: The shooting in Gilroy, Calif., on July 28, and then the back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.

That's no surprise, say scientists who study mass shootings. Research shows that these incidents usually occur in clusters and tend to be contagious. Intensive media coverage seems to drive the contagion, the researchers say.

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