The majority of gun deaths in Missouri are suicides. While a person can think about suicide for an extended period of time, the decision to act often occurs in less than one hour. Having quick access to a firearm in that moment can determine if someone lives or dies.
Access to firearms increases the risk of death by suicide by 300%. By storing our guns securely — locked, unloaded, and away from ammunition — we can help protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Missouri has the 16th highest suicide rate in the nation. It also has the 11th highest suicide by firearm rate. This is why End Family Fire and Missouri Foundation for Health are partnering to ensure that Missourians understand the importance of safe gun storage. Conversations about safe storage between partners, families, friends, and co-workers can help prevent firearm suicide and keep us all safer.
Read on for more information about how to make your home and community safer through safe firearm storage.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a crisis, please reach out to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or text MOSAFE to 741741.
What to Know
Local Mental Health Resources
If you are in crisis:
- Call: Call 988 or visit 988lifeline.org to reach the free and confidential 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
- Text: Send the keyword “MOSAFE” to 741741
- Chat: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline chat
- Find a 24-Hour Crisis Line in Your County
Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri
Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri (MHA-EM) works to promote mental health and improve the care and treatment of persons living with mental illness through advocacy, education, and service. Affiliated with Mental Health America, MHA-EM is a not-for-profit organization that offers services such as a call-in help line, peer support groups, wellness programs, and more for not only those experiencing mental illness, but also families and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Learn more about MHA-EM at mha-em.org.
Missouri Behavioral Health Council
The Missouri Behavioral Health Council is composed of 33 member agencies that aim to reduce stigma, increase access, and support Missouri’s behavioral health professionals. They offer services ranging from advocacy and integrated care, to health information management and prevention & recovery. Learn more about their services and member agencies at mobhc.org.
Missouri Department of Mental Health
The Division of Behavioral Health manages programs and services for people who need help from mental illness or substance use disorders. They offer services such as evaluation, intervention, treatment, and more. For more information, visit dmh.mo.gov. To find a local community mental health center click here.
Missouri Suicide Prevention Network
MSPN’s goal is to coordinate and develop implementation of the Missouri Suicide Prevention Plan, based on the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. You can find the network’s recommended prevention, crisis, treatment, and recovery resources at mospn.org.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Missouri
NAMI Missouri is a non-profit organization that works to provide education, support and advocacy on behalf of people with serious mental illness and their families regardless of race, religion or national origin. There are nine NAMI affiliates across the state— two (St. Louis & Southwest Missouri) have offices with professional staff, while the others are completely volunteer-run. Find out more at namimissouri.org.