Hello Friends,

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:

Roundup – World Suicide Prevention Week 2017Centre for Suicide Prevention
September 10-14, 2017
Last week was World Suicide Prevention Week 2017! Thank you to everyone who attended an event, read a publication, or sponsored us.

Calgary councillor reveals struggle with depression Metro
September 11, 2017
On World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept. 10, Calgary Ward 11 Councillor Brian Pincott opened up about his struggles with depression and suicide ideation. Pincott said he hopes that others will come forward too, and ask for help: “By sharing I hope that people will be more proactive … and check in if they see somebody struggling, whose behaviour is changing – reach out and ask them how they’re doing.” Mara Grunau, Executive Director of the Centre for Suicide Prevention encourages those who are worried about someone to ask them directly if they’re thinking about suicide because “If they are, research indicates they’ll say yes… The best thing to do is to listen openly and non-judgementally, and then connect them to help.”

Suicide among veterans highest in western US, rural areasDenver Post
September 16, 2017
For the first time ever, the American Department of Veterans Affairs has released data on veteran suicides by state. The data shows that veterans living in the western US and rural areas are most at risk of suicide. Other findings from the data suggest that social isolation, gun ownership, and access to health care are suicide risk factors. “These findings are deeply concerning, which is why I made suicide prevention my top clinical priority,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin. “This is a national public health issue.”

Chester Bennington’s son shares video for National Suicide Prevention Week
September 15, 2017
Chester Bennington, lead singer of the band Linkin Park, died by suicide in July. Last week, National Suicide Prevention Week, his son, Draven, 15, shared a video encouraging others who are struggling to seek help, and opening up about his own struggles after the passing of his father. “I want to make a commitment that I will talk to someone before I hurt myself when I’m feeling depressed, sad or going through a hard week, month or year… I want to challenge you to do the same: to help yourself, not hurt yourself.”

Writer hopes blog post on brother’s suicide will help get people talkingCBC
September 14, 2017
Helen Escott, retired RCMP Senior Communications Strategist and blogger has written about her brother’s suicide, and her experiences as a survivor of suicide loss.

Sydney man who lost entire family to suicide shares storyCape Breton Post
September 13, 2017
Ken Tarr, who lost his wife and two twin sons to suicide, opened up about his experiences at a World Suicide Prevention Day event last week. When asked why he’s sharing his story, Tarr said, “I just do it because it’s something that I have to do. There is no real comfort for me. I try to live my life. I’m trying to get out of the phase of just surviving and trying to live and have a good life. When I do things that I enjoy, I think about my kids and I’m living for them and doing things that they’re not doing now. Hopefully wherever they’re at they can see that.”

Lawsuit over a suicide points to a risk of antidepressantsNew York Times Well Blog
September 11, 2017
Stewart Dolin died by suicide at the age of 57, after switching to antidepressant paroxetine. The drug is known to cause akathisia, a state of acute physical and psychological agitation, which psychiatrists believe can lead to a heightened risk of suicide in some patients. Now, Stewart’s wife Wendy Dolin is suing GlaxoSmithKline, saying that the company did not sufficiently warn the public of the risks associated with taking the drug. This is one of the few cases of a lawsuit over a suicide going to trial; most are dismissed or settled out of court.

‘Suicide is not a spice.’ Downtown London restaurant changes menu to support mental healthCBC
September 11, 2017
Mark Henshaw, server at Thaifoon restaurant in London, Ontario, expressed to owner Fouzon Beg his concerns about the fact that one of the four flavour options on the menu was “suicide.” Henshaw, who has struggled with severe mental health issues in the past, said: “When people hear these words and associate it with an experience that was difficult for them, they’re likely going to get anxious, which will make them uncomfortable and stressed.” Owner Beg said, “When I first had these menus printed (in 2014), it never really occurred to me and I don’t think other restaurant owners even think about it… It’s such a negative word. Food is such a beautiful thing and associating such a positive thing with such a negative thing doesn’t click.”

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