Means restriction for suicide prevention

Lancet. 2012 Jun 23;379(9834):2393-9. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60521-2.

Abstract

Limitation of access to lethal methods used for suicide--so-called means restriction--is an important population strategy for suicide prevention. Many empirical studies have shown that such means restriction is effective. Although some individuals might seek other methods, many do not; when they do, the means chosen are less lethal and are associated with fewer deaths than when more dangerous ones are available. We examine how the spread of information about suicide methods through formal and informal media potentially affects the choices that people make when attempting to kill themselves. We also discuss the challenges associated with implementation of means restriction and whether numbers of deaths by suicide are reduced.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mass Media
  • Public Health / methods
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Suicide / prevention & control*
  • Suicide / psychology