Last month was a whirlwind of presentations and briefings for Brett Bass, Safer Homes Program Director. In addition to several events around Washington state, he participated in the second annual Suicide Prevention Conference jointly hosted by the US Veterans Administration and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, in Denver, CO, providing expertise on the role of firearms safety in reducing suicides.
Following this, he flew to Tampa, FL, to MacDill Air Force Base, to brief both the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the US Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) on a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. These two organizations comprise members from all branches of the military. While all events were well attended, the SOCCENT presentation was standing-room only.
Brett’s presentation covered three critical points:
- Lethal Means Safety – what it is.
- How Lethal Means Safety fits into a comprehensive suicide prevention plan (and how this ties into the social-ecological model that informs for our work).
- The SPRIRC Report and Brett’s analysis of it, including how it pertains to the Department of Defense’s suicide prevention initiatives.
We’re grateful for these opportunities to share our expertise in lethal means safety with organizations whose leadership understands that a comprehensive public health approacih is essential to reducing suicides. Especially with military and veterans organizations, because we know that veterans are at much higher risk of dying by suicide than civilians, and it’s critical to work on programs and initiatives that help save their lives.