Skip to Content
The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 5N: Professional development training module on suicide prevention through reduction of access to lethal means

Section 5N. The board of registration in medicine established pursuant to section 5B shall, in collaboration with experts in violence and injury prevention, and in coordination with relevant training accreditation bodies, develop or provide for, and make available for voluntary participation by any physician, a professional development training module on suicide prevention through reduction of access to lethal means. The goal of the training module shall be to encourage physicians to speak with their patients and patients' families about the risk posed by access to lethal means in the home, and to increase a physician's ability and comfort in having such discussions with patients and families in a legally, ethically and medically appropriate manner. The training module shall include information on:

(i) rates of attempted and completed suicides, including demographics, trends in mental health histories of suicide victims and trends in rates of reattempts by survivors;

(ii) the impact of lethal means reduction in reducing rates of completed suicides, and on best practices, separate and distinct from behavioral health treatment, that may impact suicide rates through the reduction of environmental safety risks;

(iii) the role of firearms, including firearms ownership and access to household firearms, in impacting rates of attempted and completed suicides;

(iv) strategies for discussions with patients, the patient's family or legal guardians concerning safety assessments and securing or removing firearms and other lethal means of suicide from the home during high risk periods; and

(v) other appropriate and relevant information, as determined by the board, for the purpose of the training.

The training module developed shall be accepted by the board as up to 2 continuing professional development credits.