The BulletPoints Project, part of the University of California’s Firearm Violence Research Center, has launched a new resource-rich website to enhance education, training and awareness about firearm injury prevention for medical and mental health professionals.
The website is designed to fill gaps in knowledge and experience by developing, implementing and evaluating training programs for health care providers to work with patients to prevent firearm-related harm.
“We created the BulletPoints website to equip providers with clinically-relevant knowledge about firearms, their uses, benefits, risks and safety,” said Amy Barnhorst, director of the project and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and emergency medicine at UC Davis Health. “Just as clinicians discuss other potential household health dangers like cigarettes, swimming pools or medications, there’s a big need to help clinicians be comfortable in talking with their patients about the risks of firearm access.”
The BulletPoints Project is the result of legislation, authored by Assembly-member Marc Berman, that was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019. It provided nearly $4 million for the development, distribution and evaluation of a curriculum to teach medical and mental health care providers about counseling and intervening with patients at risk of firearm injury (suicide, violence or accidental injury).
It also features a blog, FAQs, a glossary, and links to related external resources, including peer-reviewed journal articles.
“We’ll continue to build onto the website, first with a section designed specifically for medical educators,” said Rocco Pallin, M.P.H., director of education for the project. “It will include lessons on firearms and public health, scripts for risk assessment and counseling at-risk patients, presentation slide sets about firearm injury prevention, and other tools for educating the next generation of clinicians on how they can reduce their patients’ risk of firearm injury.”
Other resources, including a variety of online and in-person training programs, will also be created by the BulletPoints Project as it evolves and gathers momentum.
“BulletPoints puts public funds to work saving lives,” said Garen Wintemute, M.D., M.P.H., professor of emergency medicine and director of the research center.