Ohio AAP Launches #StoreItSafe to Reverse the Trend of Rising Teen Suicides

  • Did you know that every three hours a teenager in the United States takes his or her life using a gun?
  • Were you aware that alcohol causes more than 4,300 deaths among U.S. teens each year?
  • Are you shocked to find out that one in five adolescents contemplate suicide each day and it is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year-olds in this country?

To help prevent firearm-related unintentional deaths and suicides among children and teens, the Ohio AAP is launching a statewide effort to save lives by “Reversing the Trend of Irreversible Actions” through the Store It Safe initiative.

Store It Safe is poised to save lives by identifying teens with mental health concerns, providing appropriate interventions, and creating barriers to the most lethal means for suicide, like firearms and prescription medications, that can aid in this fatal action. We know that knowledge is power and by increasing the knowledge of pediatricians, other healthcare providers, and school-based professionals, this program will improve the recognition of adolescent suicide risk through depression screening at every doctor’s visit in order to capture at-risk teens early. It is also important to encourage families with children and adolescents to lock up any firearms, medications, and alcohol to provide a barrier to these lethal means.

Let’s work together to put a barrier between contemplation and action by providing the resources and educational tools necessary for healthcare providers and parents to reverse this fatal trend. You can be involved in many ways, including:

  • The Ohio AAP is gathering personal stories or experiences from members to help expand our understanding of how this crisis is affecting providers, and to spread messages of hope via social media. A brief survey for sharing your practices and/or experience is now available at: http://ohioaap.org/store-it-safe-adolescent-survey/
  • Follow Ohio AAP on Facebook and Twitter to engage in the blitz of our social media posts on the Store It Safe initiative coming Friday.
  • Store It Safe is an initiative developed and led by Ohio AAP members because of the crisis seen by pediatricians across the state; the program will not be possible without the support of our members. Contribute to the development of the Store It Safe initiative now at: http://ohioaap.org/donate-now/

If you have questions on Store It Safe, please visit http://ohioaap.org/storeitsafe/ or contact Hayley Southworth at hsouthworth@ohioaap.org.

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