Every day we scan news headlines and social media for items of interest to the field of suicide prevention. Here’s what we found last week:

‘So many barriers’: Support for teen dads lags behind help for young momsCBC
Mar. 19, 2017
New teen dads say there are many barriers for them when it comes to accessing parental services.”Even when teen fathers are trying to be there and are there for their kids, there are so many barriers,” says Michael Moze, who was 18 when he became a dad. “When you have someone with experience to guide you, it is so much easier.” Organizations like the Terra Centre in Edmonton, Dad Central, and Ujima House are helping to fill the gap in services and support young fathers. Supporting fathers is extremely important in maintaining the health of the family. Gillian Thompson, nurse practitioner with Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children says that “There is evidence that fathers’ involvement has the potential to contribute to the prevention of maternal depression, to increase breastfeeding rates, improve family functioning and promote healthy child development.”

Male construction workers at greatest risk of suicide, study findsGuardian
Mar. 17, 2017
A study conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK looked into the rates of suicide by occupation, and found that men working in construction are most at risk of suicide in the UK. Alternatively, men and women in higher paying occupations, such as managers, directors, and senior officials, had lower suicide rates. A previous study by the ONS suggested that jobs with lower pay, lower job security, and access to lethal means were often associated with a higher suicide risk.

Vancouver researchers broach silence about suicide and LGBT issues with photo exhibit and studiesThe Straight
Mar. 16, 2017
The University of British Columbia’s Men’s Health Research program is one of many researching men’s suicide rates, and have found that in particular, “Gay and bisexual men are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight men but it’s very ignored and it’s a very difficult topic to talk about so we’re giving voice to people who were affected by suicide.” This according to postdoctoral research fellow Dr. Olivier Ferlatte, who is part of UBC’s Men’s Health Research Program. The Program gave voice to people affected by suicide with an art exhibit entitled “Still Here.” The exhibit is on display at the Davie Street Health Clinic.

Hike in Moncton-area suicides alarms retired psychologistCBC
Mar. 16, 2017
Moncton, New Brunswick has seen a recent increase in suicide deaths, which preliminary data shows increased from 40 people in 2016, almost doubling in comparison to previous years. Albert Cyr chairs the mental health community advisory committee, and wants the hike to be investigated to see what the province could be doing better, like making mental health services more accessible.

Suicide prevention barriers on High Level Bridge vandalized 2nd timeCBC
Mar. 15, 2017
The suicide prevention bridge barriers on Edmonton’s High Level Bridge have been vandalized for the second time since they were first installed in August of last year. This time, vandals used a bolt cutter to cut a hole through the barriers, but the city has since installed a temporary mesh barrier to cover up the hole. The first time the barriers were vandalized, four human-shaped sculptures were hung on the barriers.

Some gun laws tied to lower suicide ratesNew York Times
Mar. 15, 2017
A new report by the National Center for Health Statistics in the United States has found that background checks and waiting periods for gun purchases are associated with lower suicide rates.

Why everyone needs to take care of their mental healthGlobe and Mail 
Mar. 15, 2017
This Globe and Mail article is part of a series on workplace mental health. This article focuses on how employees can maintain good mental health in the workplace, and suggests making a commitment to learn about positive mental health, knowing what your normal stress levels are, knowing how to cope with stress, taking time for mental heath maintenance every day, and reaching out when you need help.

AI figured out the word people text when their suicide risk is high Mashable 
Mar. 9, 2017
Crisis Text Line is a free mental health support service that offers a text message-based crisis line to those in need. They built an algorithm to flag text messages that indicate people in a heightened state of crisis, those most at risk for suicide. In order to create their algorithm, they set up artificial intelligence to analyze over 22 million messages in their database, and found that when the word “ibuprofen” was used, these people were 16 times more likely to be in need of emergency services than people who texted using the word “suicide.”

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