A practical steps to protect those at risk of suicide
Last year firearms were responsible for fifty one percent of suicides about twenty four thousand lives and seventy four percent of homicides about fourteen thousand lives. This is Dr. Michael Wilks with a second opinion. Berry is a forty one year-old Roofer who reported to me feeling suicidal when he told me he'd purchased a gun. My worry level went way up. There's little worse than knowing that someone is at risk of. Of hurting themselves or others, and not being able to do anything to stop it over the past four years or so nineteen states, including California have passed laws called extreme risk, protection orders or your P. O.'s these laws make it illegal for a person who is believed to be a danger to themselves or others to possess access, receive, or have in their custody, a firearm or ammunition for the. The duration of the order typically one year, the civil process begins with an immediate family member, a household member, law, enforcement, or sometimes a health professional, petitioning the court for an immediate ERP oh. If granted, the police requested to enforce the order, so the law sounds like it makes sense, but does it work well. The first report I've seen was published this week in the annals of internal medicine and And it looked at two hundred and thirty eight Erp owes filed over about a three year period in Washington state in Washington the petitioner requesting the ER. Peo- fills out detailed form explaining why they feel. The person is at risk of causing personal injury to themselves or others by way of a firearm. If the situation is deemed to be urgent, they can request an emergency implementation of a temporary. Which lasts only twenty one days longer EERP does then require an appearance before a judge of the two hundred and thirty P. O.'s filed. Eighty percent were granted of those that were granted thirty percent related to fears of suicide, thirty six percent, related to fears of harming someone else, and the remainder involved fear of both the vast majority of Europeans were filed against white men who were. Were in the age group of twenty, five to forty, four about half had a history of prior mental health problems and half reported to have problems of substance abuse, interestingly, a third of the ER PEOs resulted in a court, ordered mental health evaluation, and many of those people were able to access long-term treatment. It also turns out that well over a third of E. R. P.. P. O. Orders were to people with substance abuse problems prior domestic violence attempts or a prior arrest. In most cases, police removed only one firearm, but in other cases police reported removing a dozen or more, so the study suggests that for every ten to twenty RPO's ordered. One life is saved by preventing suicide reports suggest that often when families know of a person's risk to themselves or Or others they are not aware of their ability to have firearms removed from that person. Of course, another problem is at families, or even doctors could fear retribution. The e Rpo we got for Berry was to protect him because we cared, but I'm not sure that Barry will ever want to return to see me as his doctor.