NewsAug | 10 | 2022
What a Troubling rise in Gun Ownership and Depression Rates Means for the Risks of Gun-Related Suicide
As we all attempt to find our new normal after years of pandemic living, it’s evident that this will involve an immense societal need to focus on individual mental health. With nearly one in five adults living with a mental illness, finding innovative new approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention are crucial to improving the lives of millions of people. Investigators at the Mass General Research Institute are working to do just that.
This week, we talked to Roy Perlis, MD MSc, the Director of the Center for Quantitative Health at Mass General Hospital as well as Associate Chief for Research in the Department of Psychiatry, and a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
While most of the conversations on gun safety come down to the harm that guns can do to other people, the evidence shows that guns are just as deadly—if not more deadly—to gun owners themselves.
In 2020 alone, 54% of all firearm-related deaths were suicides. During the pandemic, there was also an increase in first-time firearm purchases, helping to push record-breaking sales of guns in the U.S.
But it’s not just access to guns that should be alarming. According to Dr. Perlis and other mental health researchers, depression is becoming more common among Americans.
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