Hunting season, gun safety, and suicide – One of these things is not like the others BUT…here’s what you need to know

Fall brings many things. Beautiful colors, cool breezes, pumpkin spice, hunting season, and family gatherings. Unfortunately, it also adds to accidental firearm death and makes guns more accessible to people contemplating suicide. It’s important this time of year to learn about firearm safety and the warning signs of suicide.

1 out of every 6,905 deaths is an accidental firearms discharge. (Click here to learn more about Firearm Fatalities in Hunting) However, many of these deaths do not even involve hunters. This could be because hunters take the time to learn about gun safety. But what happens when the firearm ends up in the wrong hands? Before handling a firearm, click here to learn some gun safety tips.

We live in an area where many people own guns. We also live in an area with a high suicide rate. Click here for Wyoming suicide statistics. For more suicide statistics in the US, click here.

Take a minute to learn the warning signs of suicide.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online
  • Or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

Hold your loved ones close, listen, and be aware of the warning signs. Many people who find themselves in a suicide crisis can and do recover. Suicide can be prevented; you can help. And remember, keep those firearms locked safely away when not in use.

Consider joining the Fremont County Prevention Partnership and its workgroups, including the Suicide Prevention Taskforce.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, call Fremont Counseling Service 332-4233, or 856-7489, or the 24 hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) now.

For updated Fremont County and Wyoming resources, click here.

Find your strengths:

Help your child discover their sources of strength and the power of connection and hope to help them deal with suicidal thoughts and prevent suicide. As we head into the holiday season, these strengths can help keep your family healthy and happy. Remember, sometimes the greatest strength is sitting right next to you.