Johnson County gives out free gun locks to combat growing suicid - KCTV5

Johnson County gives out free gun locks to combat growing suicide rate

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The office has already given out more than 500 gun locks. In the few seconds that it takes to open the lock, they hope people rethink what they’re doing. (KCTV5) The office has already given out more than 500 gun locks. In the few seconds that it takes to open the lock, they hope people rethink what they’re doing. (KCTV5)
JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -

Johnson County mental health experts say they’re dealing with a real problem, a rise in suicides.

The United States Center for Disease Control says the most common method of suicide is the use of firearms.

On a national level, Missouri ranks 18th and Kansas ranks 11th, with highest suicide rate in the country.

That’s why Johnson County is taking a proactive to this problem.

Johnson County Mental Health Director Tim Deweese says the county has the highest suicide rate in the state Kansas.

"I would consider this an epidemic that’s not really talked about," Deweese said.

That’s why they’ve decided to give out free gun locks. They say creating barriers can help save a life.

“It allows a person to maybe think of something different than suicide. ‘I need to find a lock,’ or ‘how do I unlock it,’ and that minute can actually restructure the thinking,” Deweese said.

The office has already given out more than 500 gun locks.

In the few seconds that it takes to open the lock, they hope people rethink what they’re doing.

Deweese also says holding the key for someone can help save their life.

“You can hold the key for someone that may own a firearm and this is a way that they can be a little more proactive,” Deweese said. “By giving the key to another family member or to a provider themselves.”

Gun locks can be picked up for free at their locations in Mission, Shawnee or Olathe.

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