Susan Keys, an associate professor of public health at Oregon State University-Cascades, is collaborating with Elizabeth Marino, a cultural anthropologist at Oregon State University-Cascades, to develop culturally informed suicide prevention messages for gun owners.
The following is an excerpt from an article in The Bulletin covering their work:
The researchers conducted a study where they randomly assigned gun owners to one of four messages: a general statement about the importance of mental health and suicide prevention, a typical public health message about risks of suicide and how to prevent it, a culturally appropriate message designed to respect the value of gun owners, and a combination of the culturally approved and public health messaging. They then asked the gun owners how likely they would be to discuss giving up access to their guns with a primary care provider or a family member.
“What we found was the group that was most likely to have that conversation is the group that combined the culturally informed and public health messaging,” Keys said. “The group that received only the public health messaging is just as likely as the group that receives really nothing.”
The typical public health messaging didn’t resonate with this audience, she said.