Keeping my child safe after a suicide attempt (2036)

Key points below

After a suicide attempt

My child tried to hurt themself.  How do I keep my child safe?

1. Store guns safely.
2. Store medicines safely.
3. Offer support.

How do I safely store a gun?

Keep the gun somewhere besides at home.  Think about a gun shop or locked in a home without children. This is the safest.
Keep guns locked and stored in a different place than locked bullets, shells, and cartridges (ammunition).
Use a gun lock or other gun safety storage.  Some examples:


What if I need to keep the gun at home? How can I do that safely? 

Guns should be stored in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault, or storage case without bullets. 
Bullets should be stored in a locked location separate from the gun.
Gun locks should be used along with locked storage. Gun locks make it impossible to fire the gun. 
If guns are taken apart, parts should be safely stored in different locations.
Double check guns to make sure that they are unloaded when you take them out. Accidents can happen if someone borrows a gun and puts it back in storage while it is still loaded.
Guns must be out of reach of children when stored.

How else can I keep my child from getting guns?

Before your child visits the home of a friend, ask that family if they keep guns in their home. If they do, ask if the guns are safely stored. 

How do I safely store medicines?

Keep medicines locked up in a safe or locked cabinet. Keep out of reach of children.
Keep only the amount of medicine at home that is needed. Some medicines can be deadly.  It is unsafe to keep at home if your child is at risk for suicide.  Be careful about keeping pain medicine like oxycodone or methadone at home.
If you want to know more about the safe amount to keep at home, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or the poison control center (1-800-222-1222). 

Why is it important to keep guns and medicine away from people with depression?

Most children who kill themselves use a gun or medicine from home or a relative or friend’s home. If someone has depression, or thoughts of suicide, all guns and medicines should be stored somewhere else.
If guns or medicines cannot be removed, it is important to safely store the guns and medicines.
People of any age who are depressed are more at risk of suicide. Teens can be emotional and may act without thinking. 
If people are depressed or are feeling down, they may see a gun or medicine as an easy way out. 

Other Resources

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 (800) 273–8255 (TALK)
Crisis Text Line: 741741
ASK: Asking Saves Kids  

For more health and wellness information check out this resource: