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May 2022

Study finds gun owners less likely to discuss suicidal ideations

More people are openly discussing their struggles with mental illness, but a new Ohio State led study finds we may be asking the wrong questions for those at risk of suicide, particularly gun owners (Source: “Study: Mental health assessments fail to identify suicidal ideation among gun owners,” WOSU, May, 11).

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reveals that gun owners are less likely to share their suicidal thoughts, although data shows guns are the way most people end their lives.

“Suicidal crises tend to come on suddenly, but don’t last very long. So, if we limit access to lethal methods during that short window of time, that could potentially prevent a suicide,” said OSU clinical psychologist Craig Bryan. “Consider reaching out to someone that you trust; a fellow gun owner, a friend, a family member, a loved one, and saying 'Hey maybe now's not the time to have ready access to firearms. Can you help me lock them up? Would you hold them or babysit them for a while?'“

Immediate help and resources are available for anyone who is in crisis. You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Hospitals move to address nursing staff burnout

One-third of nurses in the United States plan to leave their jobs by the end of the year and another 20% plan to leave the industry altogether, according to two new surveys  (Source: “How to curb nurse burnout? Hospitals adding job flexibility to stem staff shortages,” Cincinnati Enquirer, May 9).

The reasons are largely due to the incessant burnout, stress, and fatigue that nurses have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. But other factors include financial considerations and a perceived lack of flexibility in the industry as well as too few advancement opportunities. 

In response, hospitals are beginning to look inward at how to retain talent and alleviate burnout, particularly among nursing staff as shortages stretch into the foreseeable future. Health systems are pivoting to accommodate the changing needs of nurses.