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HPD offering safe storage in effort to prevent self-harm

Officer displaying lock box

Police officers in Hilliard can now distribute safe storage solutions to residents who have young family members at-risk of self-harm, thanks to a new partnership with Columbus Public Health.

Access to lethal means is a risk factor for suicide, according to mental health experts. Therefore, reducing that access is an important part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.

Firearms are the most lethal among suicide methods, followed by medications that are lethal at high doses. 

Once a Hilliard Division of Police officer has identified a family in need, officers can provide a “lethal means lock box,” as well as refer the family for counseling. Families at risk are defined as those who have a member 25 years old or younger who is a is at risk for suicide, self-injurious behavior, or has made previous suicide attempt.

“Research has shown that restricting access to lethal means saves lives,” said Chief of Police Robert Fisher. “We’re grateful to Columbus Public Health for helping us provide more options and education to residents to prevent suicides.”

In the United States, just over half of all suicides are completed by firearms. Residents are reminded to always keep medications locked up, and to never keep lethal doses of any medication on hand.

Medication can be safely disposed of at the Drug Drop-off Box, located in the front lobby of the police station, 5171 Northwest Parkway, Hilliard.

Learn more about reducing access to lethal means with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center here (https://www.sprc.org/)

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