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Lethal Means

While suicide may impact groups or specific populations differently, all suicides have one thing in common—a lethal means was used. Reducing access to lethal means—any instrument or object (e.g., medicines, firearms, bridges) used to carry out a self-destructive act—among those who may be at risk for suicide is a key suicide prevention strategy and a key goal of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (Goal 6): "promote efforts to reduce access to lethal means of suicide among individuals with identified suicide risk."

Many suicide attempts take place during a short-term crisis. Putting time and distance between lethal means and individuals who may be in crisis can prevent suicide and save lives. 

Lethal Means & Suicide Prevention Report

To advance efforts to reduce access to lethal means among individuals who may be at risk for suicide, the Action Alliance (Lethal Means Stakeholder Group) developed Lethal Means & Suicide Prevention: A Guide for Community & Industry Leaders. Released in 2020, the report provides an overview of the role lethal means play in suicide, and highlights actions being taken by governments, organizations, and industries that have resulted in lived being saved. The report serves to equip community and industry leaders with the background, knowledge, and guidance they need to help play a role in reducing access to lethal means among those who may be at risk for suicide.


Lethal means report cover

National Action Alliance
for Suicide Prevention

300 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2010
Waltham, MA 02451