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The Truth About Guns and Suicide
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The Truth About Guns and Suicide


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Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Article, Lesson Plan

About This Lesson

Introduction: In 2017, over 2 million people called the same 1-800 number. They were not calling a customer service line, law enforcement, or the fire department. Instead, these 2 million callers dialed the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which offers free, around-the-clock access to trained counselors who provide emotional support and resources to people contemplating suicide.

Many of the callers were experiencing suicidal thoughts or had attempted to end their lives in the past. Some struggle with diagnosed mental illnesses like clinical depression, anxiety, or mood disorders. But many do not. Many people in crisis—and the majority of those who go on to die by suicide—do not have a mental illness. They are average Americans—men and women, young and old, veterans and civilians, of all races, religions, sexual, and gender identities.

Many of the callers were enduring extremely stressful situations like the loss of a loved one, a job, or a home, addiction to substances, being deployed, or returning from combat, and did not know where to turn. For those who can access mental health care or reach out to a hotline like the Lifeline, their story can have a happy ending. But in the United States, where 41 percent of the population owns a gun or lives in a home with one, the story too often ends in tragedy.

This lesson examines the role that guns play in the lives of people in crisis.

Objective: By the end of this lesson, students will increase their awareness of the outsized role that guns play in suicides in America. They will also understand some of the policy proscriptions experts believe must be enacted to reduce the frequency and success of people attempting suicide in the United States.

Like this resource on truth about guns and suicide?

Check out more free resources and lesson plans in Share My Lesson's School Safety: Preventing Gun Violence Collection.



The Truth About Guns and Suicide.docx

Lesson Plan
February 13, 2020
17.51 KB

The Truth About Suicide and Guns Report (2021).pdf

May 19, 2023
995.82 KB


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