Ohio AAP Partners with Life Side Ohio to Expand Safe Storage and Suicide Prevention Resources

The Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) is partnering with Life Side Ohio, a program of The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, to bring its Store It Safe resources to additional youth and families. Ohio AAP’s Store It Safe program is a unique partnership of healthcare providers, firearm advocates, and community organizations established to keep children safe from unintentional gun deaths and teens safe from suicide by firearms, medications, or alcohol.

Similarly, Life Side Ohio is a campaign of direct, suicide prevention outreach dedicated to the firearms community.   Life Side Ohio educates Ohioans on the importance of suicide prevention with the help of gun owners with various backgrounds across the state with one common goal; to save lives.

“This is a natural partnership for both organizations as we work together to prevent suicide among our children by focusing on gun safety and storage,” said Melissa Wervey Arnold, CEO, Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics. “Both organizations share common ground and recognize that more education and conversation is needed within our communities to address the staggering increase in teen suicide.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 -to 34-year-olds in the United States, and one in five adolescents contemplate suicide each day. Teen suicide has increased more than 55 percent in the past 10 years. Furthermore, in Ohio, firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens.

“As we continue to work around lethal means and suicide prevention, this partnership with the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics is crucial to sharing information and strategies to reducing youth suicide deaths,” said Tony Coder, Executive Director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation.  “With firearm owners, gun shops, and hunting clubs playing an active role in preventing suicides, we are able to make inroads on safe storage and responsible gun ownership messages with all Ohio families.”

The Store It Safe program is poised to save lives by “Reversing the Trend of Irreversible Actions” that occurs in adolescent suicide. 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, suicides can be prevented.

To learn more, please visit www.ohioaap.org/storeitsafe.

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