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:

 Charity reverses stand on scholarships for children of
veterans who died by suicide
-Globe and Mail

24, 2016
Canada’s Company, a charity benefiting children of soldiers who had served in
Afghanistan, has reversed the decision it made in 2015 regarding the
suicide of Captain Brad Elms. They originally decided that his children were
ineligible for educational support. The charity changed its mind last week and
will now offer scholarships to children those who died by combat-related
suicides, including Elm’s children. Its education fund was originally
 “created during the Afghanistan war and designed to assist children of
soldiers killed while serving in an “active role” in a military mission”.

Azerbaijan: Alarming Rise in Suicide-Institute
For War & Peace Reporting

23, 2016
There has been a dramatic rise in the number of suicides in the nation of
Azerbaijan. In 2015, there were  535 suicides, up from 138 in 2008. Kamala
Talbova, head of the department of emergency psychological assistance at the
ministry of health´s mental health centre, says Azeris are experiencing a whole
host of social problems due to economic factors, such as the falling price of
oil, the devaluation of their currency and Russia’s economic problems ( Azerbaijan’s
biggest importer), as well as a repressive and authoritarian regime currently
in government. It is believed that these factors are contributing to the rise
in acts of suicide.

P.E.I.’s suicide rate below the national average-CBC

22, 2016
Prince Edward Island has a slightly
lower suicide rate than the national average—at just under 10 per 100, 000
versus the Canadian national rate of 10.7 per 100, 000—but Desmond Colohan,
P.E.I.’s chief coroner, is hopeful it will go down further–the  good news is the problem
isn’t becoming worse,“ said Colohan, but he adds, "I hope they
go down; we all hope they go down.”

Efforts are being made
province-wide to increase suicide prevention and awareness to help reduce the
rates. For example, a program called “signals of suicide” is now offered to
every grade 9 student in health class. There are also plans to set up a mobile
crisis unit specializing in mental health crises.

In the face of suicide crisis, Attawapiskat youth find
common voice in art
-CBC News

22, 2016

from Vezina Secondary School in Attawapiskat have used their creativity to try
and address the ongoing suicide crisis in their community. With the help of
DAREarts, a national charity that empowers at-risk groups with the arts, they
produced a music video entitled Walking for Peace. This allowed the
students a “platform to speak about their experiences, feelings and hopes”. It
was recently shown to the rest of the community at a public celebration.


Student suicides: Life for young people ‘fraught with
loneliness and anxiety’, says academic
– The Independent

June 21,

Professor Siobhan O’Neill ,
speaking at a conference of student well-being in Belfast, Northern Ireland,
stated that student suicide is a growing concern both in Northern Ireland and
the rest of the UK. She cites a study of 355 suicides in Northern Ireland and
its findings of a strong relationship between alcohol, self-harm, and suicide
among students.

comes weeks after a report from the Office for National Statistics which showed
the highest numbers of student suicides in England and Wales since 2007.

report from the University of York shows a dramatic increase in “complex mental
health crises” among their students in 2014 and 2015. The same report mentions
National Health Services (NHS) failure to meet the mental health needs of
vulnerable people, including the student population.

Researchers Study New Ways to Treat Suicide Risk-Wall
Street Journal

20, 2016

such as ketamine, clozapine, and lithium are being researched to measure
their efficacy in alleviating suicidal thinking. These, along with efforts to
“tweak” psychological treatments like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
(CBT), demonstrate a growing dissatisfaction with current suicide
treatments (which generally involve addressing mental disorders like anxiety
and depression) and attempts to find alternative ones. 

Preventing youth suicide – Guelph Today

20, 2016
The organization #GetinTouchForHutch is holding their annual fundraising race
on July 2 in Arthur, north of Guelph, Ontario. It is to honour the memory of
Steven Hutchinson, who took his own life in a dorm at the University of Guelph
three years ago. Steven told no one of his pain and struggles. The race is also
meant to draw attention to a subject not talked about: suicide and its relationship
especially to young people, where ¼ of all deaths for 15-24 year-olds are by

Labor’s pledge to cut rate of suicide – The West Australian

20, 2016

Shorten, leader of Australia’s opposition Labor party, has announced a pledge
of $80 million to target those at risk for suicide. There will
be the establishment of a national suicide registry containing all of the
nation’s suicide data. This will allow health experts to better identify
at-risk groups. The long-term aim is to halve the nation’s suicide rate over
the next decade.

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