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:

I’m a doctor, and in October I tried to kill myself. I ended up as a patient on the very hospital wards I work onIndependent
December 9, 2017
In this piece, Dr. Matthew Christie, a practicing doctor who attempted suicide, describes his struggles with mental health and coinciding struggles with access to mental health care in the UK, providing a unique view from both sides of the system. “The medical staff that brought me through what was the worst period of my life, who brought light into that horrifying darkness and supported me on the road to recovery, have a dedication to their work that is truly beyond words. But, they are overstretched and underfunded,” said Christie.

University of Regina to study effects of job on mental health of MountiesOHS Canada
December 9, 2017
The federal government has commissioned the University of Regina to study how policing affects the mental health of RCMP officers. U of R will conduct a 10 year study which will identify psychological and physiological signs of trauma and stress-related disorders like PTSD.  “Post-traumatic stress injuries, and other operational stress injuries, disproportionately affect police officers – people who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe and secure… We are committed to providing RCMP officers with the mental-health support they need to recover. The results of this study will help us better understand the problem and provide better support,” said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

Canadian veterans have ‘significantly’ higher risk of dying by suicide, study says CBC
December 7, 2017
The first statistical analysis of suicide among Canadian veterans has been released by Veterans Affairs Canada. The study finds that both male and female veterans are more likely to die by suicide than those in the general population. Veteran men have a 36% higher risk of suicide, while women have an alarming 81% higher risk of suicide. “The Veteran Suicide Mortality Study is an important step in better understanding suicide within the veteran community,” Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan said in a statement. “(It) gives us greater perspective as we continue to build better services and supports.”
Related – Veterans face much higher suicide rate than civiliansGlobe and Mail

‘Our kids are crying out for help’: Sask. report shares Indigenous youth solutions on suicideCBC
December 6, 2017
Saskatchewan’s Advocate for Children and Youth has released a report on Indigenous youth suicide in the province and suggested developing a province-wide suicide prevention strategy involving health, education, and social services. In addition to reporting on statistics, the report was the result of interviews of 264 Indigenous youth in northern Saskatchewan. First Nations people in that province die by suicide 4.3 times more often than those in the general population. “Our kids are crying out for our help,” said Advocate for Children and Youth Corey O’Soup. “And as they cry out for help, they’re literally dying as we stand by and wait for tragedy to happen. Let’s not wait for the next kid to die.”
Related – ‘I felt like walls were closing around me’: Indigenous youth speak out on Sask. youth suicide reportCBC

Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers?Guardian
December 6, 2017
This feature piece examines the high rates of American farmer suicide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in a study released last year that people working in the agricultural industry have a higher rate of suicide than those of the general population – their rates were almost 5 times higher in 17 states. Some factors thought to contribute to the increased rate include a reluctance to seek help. “People just did not deal with revealing their tender feelings. They felt like failures,” said Mike Rosmann, an Iowa farmer and psychologist, who counselled other farmers in his community. However, Rosmann found that when help was provided, including hotlines, free counselling, service referrals and community events to break down stigma, rates were significantly reduced. “We stopped the suicides here,” he says of his community in Iowa. “And every state that had a telephone hotline reduced the number of farming related suicides.”

Parenting behaviours linked to suicide among adolescentsScience Daily
December 5, 2017
Follow-up data analysis from the “2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health,” done in the US, has found that children between 12 and 17 are at greater risk of suicide if their parents don’t engage with them and demonstrate that they care about them.  “Parents ask us all the time, ‘What can we do?'” said Keith King, who performed the analysis. “You can tell them you’re proud of them, that they did a good job, get involved with them, and help them with their homework.” Rebecca Viourek, who also worked on the analysis, said “A key is to ensure that children feel positively connected to their parents and family.”

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