A survey of people who had seriously considered suicide in the past year found that for about 30%, the suicidal period lasted under an hour. It also found that the interval between deciding on suicide and attempting was 10 minutes or less for 24%–74% of attempters. The choice of suicide method generally depends on one simple factor: availability. Reducing the availability of highly lethal and commonly used suicide methods has been associated with declines in suicide rates of as much as 30%–50% in other countries.
If a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, it is important to safeguard your home. Below are some ways you can reduce a possible suicide attempt.
- Keep all guns locked up and hidden or temporarily remove them from the home
- Store guns away from ammunition
- Lock up large quantities of prescription and over the counter drugs
- Request smaller prescription refill quantities (e.g., weekly rather than monthly refills)
- Dispose of all old and unused prescription drugs
- Keep knives and sharp objects hidden or out of reach
- Have the Suicide Lifeline number readily available, (800)273-TALK (8255)