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:
Inuit special feature: An open letter to ‘southern’ Canadians – Centre for Suicide Prevention
In honour of National Aboriginal Day, Librarian & Writer Robert Olson wrote an open letter to his fellow southern Canadians about Inuit, which focuses on why Inuit have some of the highest suicide rates in the world – though this was not always the case.
Why men are more likely to die by suicide and how to help someone at risk – Global Calgary
June 16, 2017
The week before last was Men’s Health Week, and in honour of Men’s Mental Health Day in particular, Global Calgary interviewed Mara Grunau from CSP about why men are at such high risk of suicide. “A lot of the factors are cultural. Men are stoic, men are strong,” said Grunau. But the people in men’s lives can identify any marked changes of behaviour as possible warning signs for suicide. Once they’ve identified the changes, they can reach out to them and ask if they are struggling.
‘It’s definitely a crisis,’ says family after three Cape Breton teen suicides – CTV
June 25, 2017
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia has had 3 youth die by suicide in just the past 6 months, including a young transgender teen, Justin Newell and Madison Wilson, both just 13-years-old. “After the first one, it was a tragedy. Now we’re at three. It’s definitely a crisis,” said Newell’s aunt, Stephanie Melski. “It’s something we need help with and I think it’s great we’re getting some help to be focused on it.”
In northern Ontario, an Indigenous pupil finds hope for success with a coach in her corner – Globe and Mail
June 23, 2017
Indigenous students in Dryden High School are getting support from a graduation coach, as they graduate at less than half the rate of their non-Indigenous peers. The position of “graduation coach” is a new one at Dryden High School, and often the person in that position ends up helping with much more than just school work, especially considering the significant trauma experienced by some students. “Some days, I say my job is keeping kids in school, in classes,” said graduation coach Kieran McMonagle, “Some days, I say my job is keeping students alive.”
How to fix Canada’s mental health system – Globe and Mail
June 22, 2017
This article is part of Globe and Mail series Open Minds, an investigation into the mental health system in Canada in an effort to identify how the system can be improved. Some solutions in this article include: expanding public access to care, using technology to deliver therapy into people’s homes, teaching children about mental health, giving kids early access to good clinical care, and providing affordable housing.
Halifax police chief proposes publishing suicide stats to start conversation – Blue Line
June 21, 2017
Chief Jean-Michel Blais has proposed that the city’s suicide stats become public knowledge to better inform citizens of how prevalent suicide and mental health issues are in the community. In just 3 weeks, the Halifax Regional Police responded to 28 attempted suicides in Halifax. Blais is suggesting that the stats alone be published, without any reference to location or means.
Indigenous people need resources 24/7 to cut suicide rates, committee recommends – CBC
June 20, 2017
A House of Commons standing committee on Indigenous and northern affairs has released a report recommending 28 actions to take to address Indigenous suicide. Based on their findings, their recommendations include: developing and funding Indigenous youth suicide prevention strategies, ensuring resources are available 24/7, and addressing mental health and substance abuse issues with investment in culturally appropriate programming.
Barrier at Toronto’s Bloor Viaduct significantly reduced suicides: study – Ottawa Citizen
June 20, 2017
Sunnybrook Hospital has published a study finding that the barrier installed on the Toronto Bloor Viaduct (overpass) have significantly reduced suicides: one person has died in comparison to 9 per year on average (prior to 2003). “The barrier did have its intended effect,” study co-author Dr. Mark Sinyor of Sunnybrook said in a telephone interview. “There was a decrease in deaths by jumping from bridges in Toronto by roughly the same number as the number that had previously been dying at the Bloor Viaduct, without an increase by other methods or locations.”
Alberta post-secondary mental health gets $25.8M boost – Metro
June 20, 2017
The Alberta NDP government is providing an additional $25.8 million to Alberta post-secondary institutions to go towards student mental health initiatives, such as 24-hour online and phone counselling supports. A recent survey found that over 90% of Alberta’s post-secondary student population felt overwhelmed and 13% considered suicide.
Increase in teen suicidal behaviour linked to 13 Reasons Why, Toronto counsellors say – CBC
June 19, 2017
Leticia Gracia, director of a Toronto community clinic, says that her clinic has seen an increase in the number of children and teens talking and thinking about suicide after watching Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.