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:

Mental Illness Awareness WeekCanadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health
Oct. 2 – 8, 2016
This week, CAMIMH is hosting Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), an annual public campaign aimed at spreading awareness about mental illness. Follow #MIAW2016.

‘There was no help’: Vancouver Island mother calls for national anti-suicide planCBC
October 2, 2016
Carole Pullman lost her son to suicide after a long struggle with recovery from addiction, and now Carole is calling for a national suicide prevention strategy to be put in place. Carole believes a societal change is required in order to ensure that those who are suicidal receive the help that they need.

Suicide can happen to any familyWinnipeg Sun
September 30, 2016
Bev Geddes’ son Colin died by suicide just two months after having a psychotic break, of which Bev says there were no previous signs. Professionals at a local crisis centre did not think Colin had a psychotic break, and because Colin was 19, psychiatrists would not interview Bev and her son about his mental health. Bev now works to help families navigate the mental health system in Manitoba through her work with the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba.

Suicide prevention requires federal help, Nunavut and northern leaders sayNunatsiaq Online
Sept. 27, 2016
George Hickes, the cabinet minister in Nunavut responsible for suicide prevention, told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs last week in Iqaluit that in order for a prevention plan to be effective, financial backing from the federal government would be required. The committee traveled to Nunavut to hear about the suicide crisis going on in the territory. Hickes said that the committee should make Nunavut and Inuit: “full and equal partners with Canada” in preventing suicide in the region.The article also iterates the many factors that contribute to the high Inuit suicide rate, such as relocation and loss of culture.

‘Don’t give up’: Inuit youth hopeful about federal study on suicideCBC
Sept. 26, 2016
Nina Ford, a youth representative for the Nunatsiavut government, told a House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs that the effects of suicide in Indigenous communities were “grueling” and that “There’s not a year that goes by without suicides… Suicide is such a common tragedy that every time the phone rings your heart stops.”

Editorial: Canada facing suicide crisisWinnipeg Free Press
Sept. 26, 2016
This editorial tackles the myth that young people are most at risk for suicide and exposes the truth that in fact middle-aged men are most at risk for suicide: “In this country, men make up nearly 75 per cent of suicide decedents.” It is suggested that suicide is becoming a bigger problem nation-wide because of the growing population of older people (who are at the highest risk of suicide). What is one of the ways suicide can be prevented? by reaching out for help: “Men of a certain age have been told for a long time to keep a stiff upper lip, not to reach out — but if we don’t step forward and help them do just that, it could be fatal.”

SFU launches program to help first responders with mental healthCBC
Sept. 23, 2016
Simon Fraser University in British Columbia has now launched a program specifically for first responders to learn about how trauma affects their mental health, and will provide them with tools to help deal with trauma. Suicide is also discussed extensively in the program; an important component considering that 48 first responders have died by suicide in Canada this year alone. Larry White, SFU’s director of career and professional programs, says this program: “comprehensively provides an opportunity for first responders to learn about how trauma impacts them and what they can do about it to support themselves from a mental health perspective.”

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