Risus sardonicus: Assisted suicide or ritual violent euthanasia?

A handful of citations links a proverb about laughing at one’s own death with ancient Sardinian customs that are undeniably related to euthanasia (Broccia, 2001, 2002; Erasmus of Rotterdam, 2005; Mercklin,  1851; Perra, 1997; Rubichini, 2003). The proverb refers to the expression sardônios gélôs or risus sardonicus, and the quotations attempt to explain the paradox […]

The international association for suicide prevention: The first 50 years

Background: The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) was established in Vienna in 1960 and celebrated its 50th year in 2010. Aim: To review its 50 years of progress. Method: An historical and current review of activity. Results: The IASP has members in over 50 countries and is today the key nongovernment organization in official relations with the World […]

The experience of life and completion of suicide

Background: Over the last century the medical view of suicide (that it is always or almost always the result of a mental disorder) has prevailed. It has been refuted but it persists. We are of the view that a more realistic path to suicide can be characterized by three components 1) people may find life […]

It’s our time education toolkit

The AFN Toolkit consists of 22 learning modules that have been designed to enhance the understanding of important First Nations topics to ensure both students and teachers are learning in and out of the classroom. Retrieved from https://education.afn.ca/afntoolkit/learning-modules/

This place: 150 years retold

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.

Differential impact of child sexual abuse and family history of suicidal behavior in high-risk suicidal patients

The current study aimed to compare suicide-related variables as a function of 1) family history of suicidal behavior and 2) child sexual abuse among patients hospitalized for a suicide attempt or active suicidal ideation. Family history of suicidal behavior and child sexual abuse were examined independently and in combination as a diathesis for a high-risk […]

Managing madness: Weyburn Mental Hospital and the transformation of psychiatric care in Canada

The Saskatchewan Mental Hospital at Weyburn has played a significant role in the history of psychiatric services, mental health research, and providing care in the community. Its history provides a window to the changing nature of mental health services over the 20th century. Built in 1921, Saskatchewan Mental Hospital was considered the last asylum in […]

It’s our time: Cultural competency.

Cultural competency is a mindset or way of viewing the world. For those who commit to culturally competent practices, it represents a paradigmatic shift from viewing others as problematic to viewing how one works with people different from one’s self in a manner to ensure effective practices.

It’s our time: First Nations historical timelines and maps.

Download this Plain Talk to see a timeline that graphically shows a sequence of events in the history of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada in order of their occurrence, as well as ten maps that show the location of First Nations across Canada.

It’s our time: Residential schools.

Learn about the tragic history of Canada’s residential schools, boarding schools for Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) children and youth, financed by the federal government but staffed and run by several Christian religious institutions.

It’s our time: The Indian Act.

Learn more about the Indian Act of 1876, a legal document and a set of laws that gave the Government complete control over the lives of First Nations peoples.

It’s our time: Treaties.

Learn about the kinds of agreements that were made between the colonial powers (mainly English and French) and First Nations, in this brief overview of the challenges, realities, and disappointments.

It’s our time: Impacts of contact.

The arrival of Europeans in North America is generally referred to as contact. Learn about contact and how it had profound influences on the lives of First Nations peoples, effects that are felt today.

It’s our time: Pre-contact

The First Nations peoples are the original inhabitants of Canada. Learn about First Nations prior to colonization and occupation by Europeans, a time that is generally referred to as the time of contact.

A healing journey: Final report summary points.

The Aboriginal Healing FoundationÕs Final Report attempts to capture seven years of work among community-based healing initiatives that address the intergenerational legacy of CanadaÕs Indian residential school system. This publication summarizes the highlights of a larger, three-volume report and is intended to provide the reader with a useful understanding of the healing work the AHF […]

Reporting on suicide in Canadian media.


Stay: A history of suicide and the philosophies against it.

Worldwide, more people die by suicide than by murder, and many more are left behind to grieve. Despite distressing statistics that show suicide rates rising, the subject, long a taboo, is infrequently talked about. In this sweeping intellectual and cultural history, poet and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht channels her grief for two friends lost to […]

Suicidal ideation and completed suicide in the Decameron.


Suicide policy in Canada: Lessons from history.

In Canada, suicide has transitioned from being a criminal activity with much associated stigma, to being a public health concern that needs to be managed by governments and clinicians in a culturally sensitive manner. In Canada and worldwide, the social attitudes toward and legal interpretation of suicide have been dynamic. Much has been proposed in […]

Conceptualizing and measuring historical trauma among American Indian people.

This article reports on the development of two measures relating to historical trauma among American Indian people: The Historical Loss Scale and The Historical Loss Associated Symptoms Scale. Measurement characteristics including frequencies, internal reliability, and confirmatory factor analyses were calculated based on 143 American Indian adult parents of children aged 10 through 12 years who […]

Grandmother’s stories: how the earth and sky began.


What did the Royal Almoner do in Britain and Ireland, c.1450-1700?

This article attempts to shed new light on almoners by exploring what they actually did, principally in the enforcement of the law on suicide, their conception of charity in handling the affairs of suicide victims, & the benevolent uses to which they put forfeited assets. While apparently focusing on an “odd man out”, suicide, the […]

Cleopatra’s Corpse: Motivation for Cleopatra’s Suicide in the Ancient Texts

Horace, Plutarch, & Dio Cassius are the 3 main sources for Cleopatra. All used fairly harsh language against her before her suicide but softened their tone & portrayed her more appreciately once she decided to take her own life. This paper explores the possible explanations for this & the apparent contradiction it creates. Through close […]