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lem solving skills, impulse control, conflict resolution, and nonviolent handling of disputes all help reduce risk, together with family and community support, access to effective mental health care and support, restricted access to guns, and cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation instincts.

Measures that enhance resilience or protective factors are as essential as risk reduction in preventing suicide. Positive resistance to suicide is not permanent, so programs that support and maintain protection against suicide should be ongoing.


Firearms are the most common method of suicide by both boys and girls, and younger and older teens for all races. More than 60 percent of youth suicides between the ages of 10 and 19 in 1998 were firearm-related. The rate of youth suicides involving a firearm increased 38 percent between 1981 and 1994, and although firearm-involved suicides declined more than 20 percent from 1994 to 1998, these numbers are still high.

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