NV forms committee to prevent suicide

Listen to the story

NV forms committee to prevent suicide

Nevada has the 4th highest rate of suicide in the nation. To combat this issue, the Nevada Suicide Prevention Office is forming a new committee with 10 members from across the state.

Each member will focus on a different facet of the problem, including how to help veterans and Native American youth.

Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Misty Allen, says the committee wants to look more closely at the factors and trends related to Nevada's suicides.

"We are a very rural state. With ruralness comes isolation, high gun ownership in homes, lack of resources if someone does need help, high stigma about mental health, substance abuse and suicide."

One of the committee's priorities is to prevent people at risk of suicide from having easy access to firearms.

"Because Nevada is a high gun ownership state and over 50% of our suicide deaths are by firearms, we feel this initiative is extremely important and can be extremely effective in prevention."

Allen says other initiatives will include mental health screenings for youth, lectures on safe gun ownership and a 24-hour text-based crisis intervention service.

The committee will offer its recommendations during the next legislative session in 2015.