The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) is offering locking medication boxes and trigger locks that fit a wide variety of firearms (at no cost) as part of the new regional program "Lock and Talk Northern Virginia." The safety program expanded from Southwest Virginia to the northern region this week and is a collaborative initiative of the Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia (SPAN). Studies show that when firearms are accessible, individuals are more than three times likely to die by suicide and that the majority of people who suicide use firearms (61%) or poisons (19%). Limiting access to firearms and poisons (known as lethal means restriction) for a person in crisis is an essential strategy for preventing suicide.
Talking about the problem of suicide can save lives, reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking behaviors. Lock and Talk Northern Virginia public service announcements are airing on local Comcast stations across the region.
Lock and Talk is part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention in the Commonwealth of Virginia and being implemented by the Wellness, Health Promotion and Prevention program of the CSB. It is intended to:
- Prevent suicides by restricting access to firearms and poisons during a mental health crisis.
- Educate the community about how to recognize and respond to warning signs.
- Encourage others to pass on knowledge.
The Prevention team is offering free cable and trigger locks and locking medication boxes. Gun locks and lock boxes include information on safe handling and messaging, and tips to secure firearms and medications. The best strategy for protecting a person at risk is to remove firearms from the home until a mental health crisis is resolved. Contact us for more information or visit the SPAN website.
About suicide prevention
Suicide can be prevented – learn the warning signs. If you or someone you care about may be at risk of suicide, reach out for help right away. Call PRS CrisisLink 703-527-4077 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text “CONNECT” to 855-11.
If situation is immediately life-threatening, call 911. Ask for a crisis intervention team officer.
Contact for news media inquiries: Lucy Caldwell, Communications Director, 703-324-7006 (office), 703-856-5210 (cell).