Merily Keller’s youngest son died by suicide in 2000, while she was working on a Master’s Degree in Public Health at UT Austin. Since then, she has worked in suicide prevention. She’s the program director for Mental Health America of Texas' Suicide Project.
KUT put the question to Keller: How does the suicide prevention community see itself fitting into the recent discussions nationally and in Texas about gun regulation?
A few statistics on suicides in Texas:
- From 2009 to 2013, the rate of suicide across all ages in Texas was 11.6 per 100,000 people, or 14,579 people – the most common method being through the use of firearms.
- In 2013, 58 percent of suicides in Texas used firearms.
Keller urges those who need to talk or are concerned about someone to call 1-800-273-TALK, visit Texas Suicide Prevention's website or download the Suicide Safer Home for iOS devices.