Subscribe to receive the weekly news roundup straight to your inbox!

Buddy UpCBC Edmonton
November 7, 2022
(Interview starts at 10 min 10 sec)
Buddy Up is a suicide prevention campaign focused on preventing suicide among men, who die by suicide 3 times more often than women. “The campaign focuses on help-offering behaviour… and targets community and friends of someone considering suicide. Men are being asked to reach out and have an authentic conversation with someone they’re worried about.” Melissa Murphy has brought the campaign to the University of Alberta. Murphy says, “This program creates easy, relatable tools and tips for anyone to use… It gives you the tools to start conversations and check in on those important to you and is one of many of the tools the university has in place to support mental health for our faculty and staff.”

Local woman and her dog run for suicide preventionLethbridge Herald
November 8, 2022
Jane Scott and her dog Shadow have been running to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention, and have ran 160 kilometres and raised $9000 since they began in January. Scott’s brother Shawn McCarthy experienced debilitating mental illness, and died in April 2020. Scott says, “Mental illness has affected my family and friends. People out there are struggling. I’ve heard it so many times.” When she’s out running, Scott makes meaningful connections with people, talking about suicide prevention and having conversations. “Some of the people I’ve met are so sad, and Shadow, she knows. She goes over and licks their tears away.” Scott is raising funds for Centre for Suicide Prevention. Hilary Sirman, Donor Relations Director at Centre for Suicide Prevention said, “Mental health care needs to be available to people in the right place at the right time. Social supports for vulnerable people need to be present. And we need to renew our value for social cohesion. If you are considering suicide, please know that you are not alone. Hope is possible and help is available. Reach out to trusted family, friends, community, or workplace resources. Talk Suicide, Canada’s national suicide crisis helpline, is available to any one and be reached 24 hours a day at 1-866-456-4566.”

‘What if Yale finds out?’
Washington Post
November 11, 2022
**Content warning – different methods mentioned** This article explores the response of Yale University to student suicide attempts through the stories of young people who were attending the university when they attempted suicide, and were then asked to withdraw. “Sometimes students do need help and do need time off,” said Karen Bower, a lawyer who represents college students forced to take mental health withdrawals. “But colleges are also becoming more aware that they can’t just push students out.”

Health workers’ mental health: Addressing the invisible global pandemicSTAT News
November 10, 2022
Health care workers face disproportionate rates of stress and burnout, increasing their risk for poor mental health outcomes as well as suicide. The COVID-19 pandemic increased stress on health care workers, who had an expanded workload, risked their lives each day at work, and were often unable to take time off. More than half of health care workers who responded to a CDC survey reported experiencing mental health issues. Mental health can be improved among this population, and a policy brief by the UN suggests some solutions: “applying a whole-of-society approach to promote, protect, and care for mental health; ensuring widespread availability of emergency mental health and psychosocial support; supporting recovery from Covid-19 by building mental health services for the future.” Author of this article and program officer at Project HOPE Rawan Hamadeh says, “Health workers are the backbone of every nation’s well-being… as conflict, natural disasters, and infectious diseases become more common, so will the need for mental health services, making it essential to invest in supporting frontline health workers. Global health depends on it.”

Black and Indigenous prisoners continue to suffer from poor correctional outcomes: reportCanadian Lawyer Magazine
November 10, 2022
This article discusses the over-representation of Black and Indigenous people in Canada’s correctional system. Black prisoners represent 3.5% of the Canadian population but 9.2% of those incarcerated. Indigenous people make up 32% of those incarcerated, and are more likely to be subjected to ‘force’ by correctional officers, put into structured intervention, placed in maximum security, and labelled as gang members. They were also more likely to die by suicide. The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s 49th annual report was presented last week to Parliament, and found that 5 of 6 prisoners who died by suicide in 2021 were Indigenous.

Akaitcho chiefs call for government support as communities grapple with suicide, addictionCBC
November 9, 2022
Two chiefs from Akaitcho territory, which includes Dettah, Ndilǫ, Deninu Kųę́ First Nation, Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation and Smith’s Landing First Nation, are calling on the territorial governments to provide more support to address the mental health issues their communities are experiencing. “We’re just losing people left and right to mental health issues such as suicides and, you know, here we are, we’re trying to alleviate the problem but we’re not getting resources or the help we need,” said Dettah Yellowknives Dene First Nation Chief Edward Sangris. Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation Chief James Marlowe said, “If the minister can put a treatment centre in the Akaitcho territory, that would be wonderful news.” In addition to addiction services, Marlowe says that counselling services are needed, which could be provided at a treatment centre. Rehabilitation of those in the criminal justice system are also needed. “We have people, you know, just like they’re thrown out on the streets with no place to live,” Marlowe said. “They just say, ‘You’re a nuisance to Yellowknife, you have to go back (home),’ without proper support or housing to live in.”

Subscribe to the weekly news roundup