COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation(OSPF) held a news conference Tuesday to introduce a campaign called Life Side Ohio.

“We’re all coming to the table today to focus on working together to make sure we put all differences aside and instead focus on one common goal to prevent suicide,” said Tony Coder, Executive Director of the OSPF during the news conference.

Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz shared during the news conference that between 2020 and 2021, Franklin County had a 6% increase in suicides, with about 50% of those due to firearms. She says the suicides by two teenagers by guns during that time left her asking why it was happening.   

“That question is being tackled by many many people. Medical professionals, organizations, scientists, and I think we’ve come a bit of a way towards finding some answers, but we need to get to the ‘why’ to get to the prevention piece, and people are constantly working in that area,” said Ortiz.  

The campaign will promote safe storage to keep people from harming themselves with firearms in an effort to reduce the number of firearm related suicides in the state.

“When you have responsible gun owners, and veterans, and law enforcement, and all these folks behind me, come together and build relationships, I’m not sure what we’re going to accomplish but we’re going to accomplish something great,” said Delaware Police Captain Adam Moore.  

The event was held at the Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition Office. You can watch the full news conference in the player above.