Counseling on Access to Lethal Means

This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.

Reducing access to lethal means, such as firearms and medication, can determine whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies.

This course is about how to reduce access to the methods people use to kill themselves. It covers who needs lethal means counseling and how to work with people at risk for suicide—and their families—to reduce access.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Explain that reducing access to lethal means is an evidence-based strategy for suicide prevention.
  • Explain how reducing access to lethal means can prevent suicide.
  • Identify clients for whom lethal means counseling is appropriate.
  • Describe strategies for raising the topic of lethal means, and feel more comfortable and competent applying these strategies with clients.
  • Advise clients on specific off-site and in-home secure storage options for firearms and strategies to limit access to dangerous medications.
  • Work with your clients and their families to develop a specific plan to reduce access to lethal means and follow up on the plan over time.

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