Safer Homes, Suicide Aware is a public health campaign focused on “lethal means safety” as a way to help reduce both suicides and self-harm through safe storage practices. The Safer Homes team distributes lockboxes for medications and firearms, educates participants in suicide risk, and encourages secure, proactive storage for both firearms and medications. The main outreach efforts of our program are:
- SAFER (Suicide Awareness for Firearm owners & Education Resources) – in-person lockbox giveaways
- TeleSAFER – remote lockbox distribution
- Targeted Interventions – a cultural competency training for medical and mental health providers
- Firearms industry training & outreach to promote suicide awareness and increase temporary, out-of-home emergency firearms storage
- Quarterly, public, free firearms safety webinars with an emphasis on suicide prevention
In addition, in partnership with the WDVA (Washington Department of Veterans Affairs), we lead the Washington state Legislature’s Suicide – Safer Homes Task Force. This committee provides strategic insight and feedback to our program.
Our Mission, Vision and Values
Our mission is to increase public awareness of safe storage practices, to keep firerams owners and those who use medication safe from suicide.
We want to elevate the conversation around firerams and medication and how they relate to suicide, and our vision is to have all firearms and medications under lock and key and outside of the home when people within it are in crisis.
Safer Homes came together around a common goal: reducing suicide in Washington state. Our partners include firearms retailers and advocacy organizations, health care and mental health providers, suicide prevention experts and more. The Safer Homes Task Force was created through legislation passed in 2016-17, and was re-authorized in 2022. It is co-chaired by representatives from the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs and Forefront Suicide Prevention, UW.
The Safer Homes Task Force launched the Safer Homes, Suicide Aware public health campaign on Sept. 10, 2017, World Suicide Prevention Day. The Safer Homes Suicide Aware campaign is run by Forefront Suicide Prevention, UW.