Objective: This study sought to assess the effectiveness of a firearms risk management program.
Methods: A firearms risk management program, which included multidisciplinary assessment, treatment, and discharge planning, was developed and implemented among 46 civilly committed psychiatric inpatients at the Twin Valley Psychiatric System, a behavioral health organization of the Ohio Department of Mental Health.
Results: The research sample comprised mainly men who had personality disorders and histories of substance abuse and who had expressed an intent to use a firearm to commit suicide. On discharge, none of the patients had access to a firearm. Of the 16 patients who were hospitalized during the next 24 months, only five were noted to have threatened to harm themselves or others with a firearm or to have access to a firearm.
Conclusions: Multidisciplinary and focused assessment, treatment, and discharge planning can be effective in neutralizing the risk of firearms use among psychiatric patients.