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Public Health Approach to Talking about Firearms & Death by Suicide | South Central MIRECC


This non-accredited webinar recording outlines the rational for shifting from an individual risk-based model to a global risk or public health crisis model when talking with Veterans and their families about firearms and suicide risk.

Presenter Kevin Beasley describes how to use public health tools like Crisis Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) to enhance firearm safety discussions. He shares information from Veterans on provider approaches they found most helpful when talking about firearm safety and suicide risk. He also discusses laws, regulations, and community resources that increase providers' ability to influence safety with Veterans and families.

The webinar concludes with a look into how collaboration can lead to increased engagement in firearm safety advocacy in the VHA and the community. At the end of this webinar, learners should be able to:

  • Discuss the direct impact of gun ownership on death by suicide in America.
  • List at least two key public health techniques for talking with all Veterans and Families about firearm safety.
  • Describe language to avoid when talking about firearm safety (“Word on the street”).
  • Discuss safety collaboration as a core strategy for reducing death by suicide for all Veterans who own firearms and their families.

This webinar was originally presented in December 2019. It is not accredited for continuing education (CE) credit. You will not receive CE for viewing this recorded webinar. This webinar was sponsored by SC MIRECC and the VHA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

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About the Presenter

Mr. Kevin Beasley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who earned his master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University in 1998. Mr. Beasley’s experience encompasses over 20 years, primarily working as an individual and family therapist specializing in trauma and substance abuse. He has worked for the VHA for more than 12 years and currently works at the San Antonio VA Medical Center.

Use of these Materials and Finding VA Health Care

Please note that the health care information provided in these materials is for educational purposes only. It does not replace the role of a medical practitioner for advice on care and treatment. If you are looking for professional medical care, find your local VA healthcare center by using the VA Facilities Locator & Directory. This page may contain links that will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.

Last updated: March 12, 2021