How to Talk to Patients About Firearms

These 4 questions can help in your discussion about firearm risk mitigation...

Tony Thrasher, DO, DFAPA, provides a set of questions to include in your discussion with patients:

1. Do you have access to firearms? Risk assessment must go beyond this question, as access can be a varied term.

2. Why do you own them? This must be asked without judgment.

3. How do you store them? This is a good time to discuss locks, separate storage, and other important safety options.

4. Lastly, do you understnad the suicide risk firearms pose?

Dr Thrasher is the president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry (AAEP) and the medical director of crisis services in Milwaukee county, Wisconsin.