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: 

Awareness key to local mental
health services: advocate
 – Airdrie City View
Mar. 17, 2016
Executive Director Mara Grunau was interviewed for this article about the
importance of access to mental health services, especially in light of the
recent increase in suicides in Alberta. 

Despair and resilience of
Indigenous youth in the face of a suicide crisis
 – CBC
Mar. 20, 2016
This episode of Unreserved on CBC Radio gives a very in-depth and thoughtful
glimpse into the recent suicides in the  Pimicikamak community and within
the Indigenous population in general. Indigenous youth perspectives are the
main focus of this episode; of course their grief and desperation for a
solution to the suicide “epidemic” is apparent, but what is even more
apparent is their sense of hopefulness and resiliency. 

Opinion: Don’t be a polite friend
when it comes to mental illness
 – CBC
Mar. 20, 2016
This radio essay features comedian Alex Biron discussing his struggles with
bipolar disorder, and his wish that his friends had, instead of skirting around
the issue, been frank with him in discussing his erratic and harmful

Opinion: The suicide epidemic of Cross Lake:
Consider urban resettlement
 – Globe and Mail
Mar. 18, 2016
Responding to the recent news of a staggering 6 youth suicides on Pimicikamak
Cree Nation in just 3 months, Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail argues that the
“better life” needed to ultimately curb suicidality comes from living
in a community with a thriving economy where standard of living is high. Mason
cites the statistic that Aboriginal kids living in urban centers are
40% less likely to die by suicide.

Wave of Indigenous suicides leaves
Canada town appealing for help
 – New York Times
Mar. 18, 2016
The recent wave of suicides on Pimicikamak Cree Nation have caught the
attention of American news outlets – this story by the New York Times details
the crisis and possible precipitating factors. 

Years later, Lac-Mégantic residents grapple with mental aftershocks of
 – Globe and Mail

Mar. 18, 2016
It has been a two and a half years since a train carrying oil was derailed,
causing an explosion resulting in 47 deaths in Lac-Mégantic,
Quebec, but the affects of the disaster are still being felt today. Yvon
Ricard was so affected by the tragedy that it lead to his ultimate suicide
death. At the funeral, his sister told attendees that he had been “crushed
by that train.”

Some Quebec doctors let suicide
victims die though treatment was available: college
 – National

Mar. 17, 2016
Quebec’s College of Physicians issued an ethics bulletin to members after it
was revealed that some doctors will allow a patient, admitted to hospital for a
suicide attempt, to die even though treatment would have meant a full recovery
with minimal to no after-effects. 

Ottawa police to hire 2 mental
health support workers
 – CBC
Mar. 17, 2016
The Ottawa Police Service will be hiring two full time mental health workers
who will be responsible for responding to the force’s high rates of
work-related stress. This job announcement comes after a 2012 ombudsman report
that highlighted the “persistent stigma” against stress-related

RCMP member takes his own life near
Parliament Hill
 – Toronto Star
Mar. 17, 2016
5 police officers have died by suicide in 2016 alone, the most recent death was
by a RCMP officer this past Thursday, just half a block from Parliament Hill.
Last year 11 police officers died by suicide. The RCMP said it would ramp up
efforts to help members in distress two years ago. 

Mental illness is for white people – A
Tribe Called News

Mar. 17, 2016
Terrie Williams, author and psychotherapist, explains that culturally people of
African-American ethnicity are brought up not to talk about emotions, a habit
that can possibly be linked to the traumatic intergenerational affects of
slavery. Dr. Tanya Alim, psychiatrist, has found that often African-American
patients will complain of physical symptoms to mask underlying mental health
concerns. Denial, embarrassment or shame and outright refusal to get help are
the three most common cultural barriers inhibiting people from seeking help for
mental health challenges. 

Indigenous communities call for a
national strategy as suicides rise
 – CBC
Mar. 16, 2016
MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson is interviewed on the Current. MKO First
Nations are asking for action to deal with the high suicide rates in their
communities. Among their requests include more mental health workers in schools
and program enhancements for youth. 

No more apologies – The Walrus
Mar.16, 2016
This article highlights the need for a national suicide prevention strategy in
the wake of the suicide crisis on Pimicikamak Cree Nation, and gives a very
brief overview of failed attempts to implement such a strategy. 

Sharing the pain: how Scotland cut
male suicide rates
 – Guardian
Mar. 16, 2016
Scotland was able to reduce the number of men’s suicide deaths from 31.2 per
100,000 in 2000 to 20.2 in 2014. That’s a decrease of 21% in just 10 years.
This decrease may be attributed in part to programs such as Choose
, which create support networks for men. 

3 Saskatchewan First Nations
declared mental health emergency
 – CBC
Mar. 15, 2016
The Cote, Key, and Keeseekoose First Nations of Saskatchewan have declared a
state of emergency after experiencing 100 addictions and mental
health-realted deaths in 2015. 

Nunavut’s new suicide prevention
Mar. 15, 2016
The Nunavut suicide prevention strategy, Resilience Within,
comes just days after the minister responsible for suicide prevention resigned.
The plan’s key strategy is to hold a stakeholders’ summit to develop a longer
term plan to support community organizations. Other elements include: the expansion
of a mobile trauma response team; training educators to integrate prevention
programs in schools; creating a strategy to prevent and respond to child sexual
abuse; hiring more family resource workers; increasing funding to family
violence shelters; and starting a pilot project to create grief support

The brutal truth about car crash
 – Daily Beast
Mar. 15, 2016
This article discusses the common, but little known occurrence of traffic
fatality suicide in light of executive Aubrey McClendon’s death. 

Nova Scotia MMA fighter who took
own life ‘defeated’ by depression
 – Metro
Mar. 15, 2016
MMA fighter Cody Glode, from Truro, Nova Scotia, began experiencing depression
around the age of 12, and recently died by suicide at the age of 20. He was the
first Aboriginal firefighter on Truro’s fire service and was also the youngest.
Related – Cody Glode suicide shows mental
health system is in crisis, says mother
 – CBC

For 80 years, young Americans have
been getting more anxious and depressed, and no one is quite sure why
 – Science
of Us

Mar. 13, 2016
Since the 1930’s in the US the number of young people reporting symptoms of
anxiety and depression has steadily risen, and one researcher believes this
could be attributed to the isolation of modern life. 

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