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: 

Letter: Blue Monday
 – Morinville

Feb. 4, 2016
The Centre for Suicide Prevention wrote a letter of thanks to all the journalists who
covered our Debunking Blue Monday
. The Morinville News published our letter as a Letter to the

Mental Health
Amendment Act 2007, Review
 – Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Deadline – Feb. 29, 2016
The Standing Committee on Families and Communities in the Alberta Legislature
is looking for public input in their review of the mental health act which
focuses on the criteria for involuntary admission of people with mental
disorders to health care facilities and the use of community treatment orders
for people requiring ongoing mental health services. 

Financial despair,
addiction and the rise of suicide in white America
 – Guardian
Feb. 7, 2016
This Guardian article looks at the rise of suicidality in Caucasian
Americans, whose rate is nearly twice the national average.  

Suicide Attempts Way
 – Medicine Hat News
Feb. 6, 2016
The Medicine Hat Police Service reports that the number of suicide attempts
they’re responding to jumped significantly in 2014, and remained high in 2015.
In 2012 and 2013, the number was in the low 30s for each year, and in 2014 they
saw a jump to 71, with a slight decline to 67 last year. There have already
been 6 attempts in 2016.

Calgary MLA Brandy
Payne is ready to help tackle health portfolio
 – Metro
Feb. 5, 2016
Brandy Payne has been named associate minister of health for Alberta’s NDP
government. She will work with Health Minister Hoffman on implementing
recommendations from the upcoming mental health review. Payne says that in
particular she is looking forward to tackling the issues of mental health and

Dave Mirra: celebrated BMX star dies
aged 41 in apparent suicide
 – Guardian
Feb. 5, 2016
Dave Mirra was a big name in BMX, winning 24 medals including 14 golds at the X
Games. Police report Mirra died by suicide on Feb. 4, 2016. 

8 deaths so far in
2016: Canada’s first responder PTSD crisis
 – Global 
Feb. 4, 2016
The body of police officer Darius Garda was found and suicide is suspected as
Garda struggled with PTSD. This marks the 8th suicide death of a first
responder in 2016 alone.

Anxiety the leading
mental health issue among Canadian children
 – CBC
Feb. 4, 2016
The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified anxiety as the most common
mental health issue for children in Canada. 

Suicide: Northern Ireland has UK’s highest
rate for second year in a row
 – BBC
Feb. 4, 2016
2014 marks the second year in a row that Northern Ireland has the highest
suicide rates in the UK, with 16.5 suicides per 100,000. Despite this, the
overall number did decrease from 2013’s 303 deaths to 268. 

98 children aged 10
-14 have killed themselves in the last decade
 – Guardian
Feb. 4, 2016
The Office for National Statistics in the UK has, for the first time ever,
included children aged 10-14 in its suicide reporting, and found that 98
children have died by suicide in the past 10 years. Children 10 and under are
still not included in their reporting of suicides. 

Time to Talk Day – Time To Change
Feb. 4, 2016
The organization Time to Change,
was highlighting the importance of talking about mental health this past
Thursday. In a style similar to the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, counties across
England were encouraged to talk about mental health using the hashtag #timetotalk in an attempt
to end the stigma surrounding mental health. Unlike Bell Let’s Talk, it seems
as though no money is being promised towards mental health initiatives; it is
simply an awareness raising campaign.

Vets Canada gives
guitars to veterans with mental health issues
 – CBC
Feb. 2, 2016
Music therapy is at the centre of a new national program coming out of Vets Canada, a group based in
Halifax. The program aims to equip vets suffering from PTSD with guitars, so
they can cope with their mental illness through music. The idea came out of one
of the founding members of Vets Canada, after he found music therapy helpful in
dealing with his own PTSD. 

Australians are
spending more on mental health services and employers need to take notice
 – The Conversation
Feb. 2, 2016
Australians spent approximately $8 billion on mental health services in
2013-14, and Australian business’ lose about $11 million per year due to
decreased productivity and absenteeism. This article provides an interesting
overview of the tangible costs of mental illness to companies.  

Ontario youth seeking
help for mental health problems in ER: Study
 – Metro
Feb. 2, 2016
A study done by CAMH has found that there was a 33% jump in the number of ER
visits of youth aged 10-24 with mental health issues between
2006-2011. The number of youth seeking care from a doctor was only up 15%,
which, according to CAMH, indicates a preference for ER treatment. This
preference is driven by long wait-lists for psychiatry and doctor appointments,
and the feeling of not knowing where else to go. Kurdyak, who headed the
research team, says that youth also expressed that their situations
deteriorated so much before they were able to see their doctor for their
previously booked appointment, that they went to ER’s in a state of mental
health crisis. 

Why 32 LGBTQ youths
have committed suicide since November
 – Teen Vogue
Feb. 1, 2016
Teen Vogue has come out with yet another story dealing with the issue of
suicide, this time highlighting the recent deaths of LGBT Mormons. This part
November, the Mormon Church recently declared those who are in same-sex
marriages unwelcome in the Church, as they could be excommunicated. This led to
thousands leaving the Church. Since this announcement, 32 LGBT members of the
Church have died by suicide. 
Related – New Mormon LGBT policy: Putting
already vulnerable youth at even greater risk?
 – Huffington
Post Blog
Jan. 28, 2016

Suspected suicide of ‘world’s best
chef’ highlights pressure-cooker of haute cuisine
 – Toronto

Feb. 1, 2016
Benoit Violier, a haute cuisine chef whose restaurant was named the best in the
world, died by suicide at the age of 44. Friends were shocked but said
that the restaurant business, especially in the world of haute cuisine, was
extremely stressful and placed undue pressure on chefs. 

Quebec suicide rate constant since
 – CTV News
Jan. 31, 2016
The suicide rate in Quebec has remained constant since 2007, after a consistent
decline in the early 2000s. 1,100 people die by suicide in Quebec every year at
a rate of 

Fewer Japanese are killing themselves – The

Jan 30, 2016
This article at first highlights the suicide hot-spot forest in Japan,
Aokigahara forest, but later points out that though many still kill themselves
here, the suicide rate in Japan is declining. Purported reasons for this
include economics; fewer people are losing their jobs and becoming
bankrupt, however, one major reason cited is that prevention measures have
greatly improved. Suicide prevention classes have been added to
school curricula, municipal workers are being trained in suicide
prevention, and medical staff have received better training in mental health.
Therefore, people who express suicide ideation are getting the help they need.
The preventative measures are also directed at the most at-risk group: middle
aged men. 

CAMH and Bell Let’s Talk launch new
online mental health gateway and app, improving access to care
Jan. 21, 2016
CAMH and Bell Let’s Talk have created Portico,
an online app that helps health and community service providers navigate
through the many (but sometimes hard to find) mental illness and addiction
clinical tools, resources, and information pieces.

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