Easy Gun Access by Teens Seen Despite Mental Disorders and Suicide Risks

Teens who face suicide risks and have mental disorders still have easy gun access in the USA according to research performed by researchers at the University of Washington. More than 40% of teens who reside in a home where a firearm is kept have reported that they could easily access the weapon. The #2 cause of death for adolescents in the USA is suicide so the study findings are alarming, and another concern is that roughly half of adolescent suicides are committed with a firearm. The university researchers used the data gathered by the National Comorbidity Survey–Adolescent Supplement, which involves data from more than 10,000 American teens between the ages of 13 years old and 18 years old.

The research study results on teen gun access, mental disorders, and suicide risks show that high risk teens have just as much firearm access in the home as teens without higher risks of suicide or formally diagnosed mental disorders. According to Harborview Medical Center’s Injury Prevention and Research Center in Seattle research fellow Dr. Joseph A. Simonetti “The main finding was that children with mental health risk factors for suicide are just as likely to report in-home firearm access as those without suicide risk factors. And that was true even when comparing firearm access between children with no suicide risk factors and those who reported a suicide attempt in the preceding 12 months, who, I would argue, are probably at the highest suicide risk of those surveyed.” Simonetti continued by stating “One finding that was particularly disturbing was that the teens who reported having easy access to guns were also significantly more likely to have a history of drug or alcohol use disorders.”

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