Gun Violence Initiative Partnerships

Counseling on Access to Lethal Means in the Emergency Department

Led by Dr. Kristen Mueller, Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) is an ongoing quality improvement program in the Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Emergency Department which addresses access to firearms and other lethal means at times of suicidal crisis in emergency department patients. Using the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s curriculum, this counseling intervention promotes safety from suicide through safe storage of firearms, medications and other lethal means.

Participants are offered free gun locks during this program through a partnership between Washington University, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Lock It For Love and Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice. Additionally, participants have improved access to outpatient counseling through a partnership with Provident Behavioral Health.

This program was initially supported in part with funds from the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis and the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

the St. Louis area hospital-based violence INTERVENTION program

In 2018, the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis launched a regional St. Louis Area Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program (STL-HVIP), locally titled the Life Outside of Violence (LOV) program, which promotes positive alternatives to violence. The program is supported by a $1.6 million grant from Missouri Foundation for Health and funding from anonymous donors.

St. Louis Suicide Prevention coalition

The St. Louis Suicide Prevention Coalition creates a mechanism to convene local suicide prevention champions to support the Coalition’s vision and mission. Coalition members invest time and expertise to promote a suicide-safe community.

Missouri Suicide Prevention Network

Dr. Sean Joe, the Brown School and the Institute for Public Health were instrumental elements in the formation of the Missouri Suicide Prevention Coalition. The coalition is committed to advancing strategies, consider the evidence, and explore what can be done collectively to reduce Missouri’s rates of suicides while being committed to the safe use of firearms. The coalition is focused on helping families and friends be informed about the warning signs of suicide and what they can do to help temporarily keep a loved one in suicidal crisis from access to lethal means.

St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission

Washington University in St. Louis and the United Way of Greater St. Louis formed a joint partnership that aims to provide support and resources to local initiatives that are uniting in their efforts to combat gun violence in the region. The group comprises 40 initiatives representing education, healthcare, law enforcement, local government, neighborhood groups, and social services.

The St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission (STLVPC) works to reduce violent crime in the region by promoting a coordinated, well-resourced support system and interventions among area governments, institutions and agencies that serve individuals and families most at risk of violent crime.

crime trends in st. louis

A community-academic partnership formed to investigate what programming, funding, and relationships were in place in 2003 that might have contributed to the drop in homicides. Partners included researchers and thought leaders from the St. Louis Mental Health Board; the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and the Institute for Public Health, the Brown School, and the Social System Design Lab at Washington University in St. Louis.

View an interactive timeline of the St. Louis crime landscape.

With pilot funding from Institute for Public Health, the team collected crime, funding, and program data, visualized trends and conducted interviews to explore the relationship between crime and funding for violence prevention between 1995 and 2008.

The key takeaways from this project are:

  1. Leadership is a vital component for sustainable outcomes and real impact
  2. Willingness to cooperate among and within agencies, and to share responsibility, information and resources, is necessary to achieve results
  3. Funding that aids collaboration and programs provides the infrastructure for continued collaboration and sustained funding.

The team continues to collaborate to identify evidence-based and data-driven approaches that will help prevent violence in the St. Louis region.