Understanding the Intersection Between COVID-19, Firearm Ownership, and Suicide

SAP Partners | <b>Rutgers School of Public Health</b>

Michael D. Anestis, PhD, executive director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center and associate professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health, discusses his research on firearm ownership and suicide, in addition to steps needed to help decrease rates of gun-inflicted suicide and gun violence in general.

Gun violence is one of the most prominent public health issues facing America today, and accounted for over 43,500 deaths in 2020 alone—the highest number in decades. But a major driver of gun-related deaths in this country that often goes unmentioned is suicide.

Research shows that having access to a firearm significantly increases the risk of suicide via firearm, and during the pandemic, amid an unprecedented surge in firearm purchases, these purchasers appeared far more likely to have experienced suicidal ideation.

To learn more about the intersection between COVID-19, firearm ownership, and suicide, and to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Month, we spoke with Michael D. Anestis, PhD, an associate professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health.

On this episode of Managed Care Cast, Anestis discusses his most recent research on the paramount importance of safe firearm storage, this epidemic’s disproportionate impact on people of color, and future steps needed to help decrease rates of gun-inflicted suicide. Anestis also serves as the executive director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center.

This episode of Managed Care Cast will discuss subjects related to suicide, suicide ideology, and gun violence. If you or a loved one is in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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