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: 

Broaching suicide and mental health
‘desperately important’ for Alberta men in the trades
 – Edmonton

Mar. 28, 2016
This article follows the story of Don Rowan, a formerly suicidal oil and gas
worker who was helped by, and has since been delivering, the Men at Risk presentation, developed by the Suicide
Prevention Resource Centre in Grande Prairie. 

Nunavik organizations work together
on suicide prevention strategy
 – Nunatsiaq Online
Mar. 28, 2016
Nunavik leaders are coming together to develop suicide prevention strategies,
after Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami revealed it was developing its own strategy. This
action comes after 163 Nunavimmiut died between 2000 and 2011, making suicide
the second leading cause of death in the region after cancer.

Software flags ‘suicidal’ students,
presenting privacy dilemma
 – NPR
Mar. 28, 2016
After giving their students Google Chromebook laptops to use at school and to
take home, Ontario Christian Schools used GoGuardian to
block sites they didn’t want students to access, and track their browsing
history and search queries. The latter features allowed the system to alert
administrators to students may be at risk of self-harm or suicide, thought this
was not the feature’s initial intention. The privacy dilemma presents itself
when, “There’s a real possibility that this well-meaning attempt to
protect students from themselves will result in overreach,” says research
fellow of NYU Elana Zeide. She also points out that students could be searching
the term “suicide” for several reasons, including as part of research
for an essay on Sylvia Plath or Socrates. 

Opening the eyes of First Nations
 – Globe and Mail
Mar. 27, 2016
A culture camp, called Qps [kucks] for youth from the Heiltsuk reserve in Bella
Bella, BC has led to the near elimination of youth suicide in the region, and
boosted graduation rates. The camp focuses on connecting youth to their
culture, and giving them skills to succeed. Students in the camp learn
skills like conducting animal surveys, which are used to develop resource
management plans. The camp is named “qps,” which in Heiltsuk means
“eyes,” as the goal of the camp is to “open the eyes of young
people to their responsibility as stewards of the Heiltsuk environment and
culture." When the camp first started, students were attending
schools outside their community, and only 2% were graduating. Now, the Heiltsuk
run their own school, and graduation rates have increased to 80%.

Special report: A First Nations
community’s legacy of traumas and abuse, Part Two
 – Montreal

Mar. 27, 2016
This is part two (see part one at end) of the Gazette’s series on Innu
communities Uashat and Maliotenam. The communities experienced 5 suicide deaths
in just 9 months. This feature discusses the strong connection between the
trauma of residential schools, which every school-aged child from these communities
was required to attend between 1952 and 1967, and suicide. Also discussed is
the transmission of trauma through one generation to the next, resulting in a
high risk of suicide for that next generation. 

Studying the relation between
spring and spiking suicide rates
 – Globe and Mail
Mar. 27, 2016
Though suicide rates stay consistent throughout the year, there is a slight
increase in the spring months. This is contrary to the popular belief that suicides
happen more in winter
. Explanations for this slight increase vary,
including one that attributes the increase to airborne
pollen, prevalent in spring. Dr. Ian Dawe, of the Ontario Hospital
Association says that the increase in pollen and suicide rates is simply

Calgarian creates mental health
social network on your phone
 – Metro
Mar. 27, 2016
developed by Calgarian Daman Parmar, is an app that allows people to chat
anonymously with others regarding mental health issues. The app offers note,
drawing, and audio features. 

Ottawa donors band together for
Manitoba community coping with suicide
 – CBC
Mar. 26, 2016
Musicians and philanthropists in Ottawa are donating musical instruments to the
Pimicikamak Cree Nation, which has lost 6 members to suicide in just four
months. Pimicikamak will be deciding how to set up a program to use the

Suicide among physicians is a
public health crisis
 – HuffPost Blog
Mar. 24, 2016
Dr. Pamela Wible is interviewed in this blog post about the high rates of
suicide in physicians; one entire medical school of doctors is lost per
year in the US. Dr. Wible presented on the topic at TEDMED Talks
last year. 

Tracy Morgan busts the black
suicide myth
 – Daily Beast
Mar. 24, 2016
Comedian Tracy Morgan told Rolling Stone that he considered suicide while
recovering from a traffic collision that claimed the life of his close friend.
By speaking out about his suicide ideation, Morgan is helping to break down the
stigma surrounding suicide, which, according to research, is stigmatized to an
even greater extent in the African-American community than it is in the general

Probing the complexities of
transgender mental health
 – NPR
Mar. 24, 2016
Most research finds that the transgender population has "poorer”
mental health than the general population, but what is unclear is whether or
not this poor mental health is precipitated by external or internal factors, or
both. External factors contributing to poor mental health experienced by
transgender people include bullying, discrimination, and being generally
misunderstood by the general population. Internal factors include gender
dysphoria, the feeling of being a different gender than one’s birth gender,
which can become the cause of much internal conflict. 

Calgary students fear consequences
if mental health funding fails
 – Metro
Mar. 23, 2016
Calgary’s post-secondary students are awaiting the April 14 provincial budget
release, hoping to find funding for mental health programs for colleges and
universities. The Conservative government allocated mental health funding in
2013, but these funds have since dried up and more is needed. 

Nunavik village grieving 5 youth
suicides in 3 months 
Mar. 21, 2016
Kuujjaq, an Inuit village of 2,500 in northern Quebec, has experienced 5 youth
suicides since mid-December 2015. Elders, suicide prevention workers, health
workers and teachers are supporting families who have lost loved ones to
suicide. Youth are also being encouraged to speak up if they are struggling.
Unlike Pimicikamak Cree Nation, Nunavik does not plan to declare a state of
emergency because, as the town’s mayor says, they have the resources and were
able to regroup and find support within their own community.

One family’s story of suicide: ‘My
daughter was hell-bent on dying’
 – Telegraph
Mar. 20, 2016
This feature article tells the recovery story of a suicidal teenager, who was
admitted, and released, from the hospital after attempting suicide. This
article is different in the fact that the story is told from two perspectives:
the mother dealing with a troubled teen, and the daughter experiencing suicidality.

Beyond grief: An Innu community’s
stories, Part One
 – Montreal Gazette
Mar. 17, 2016
Last December, Uashat and Maliotenam, communities in an Innu territory in
Quebec, invited Montreal Gazette journalists to share their stories of
struggle, but also hope. The territory lost 5 people to suicide in just 9
months. Part one examines suicide rates and also suicide “clusters,”
a phenomenon that happens people become so affected by a suicide that they
themselves die by suicide as a result of their pain. 

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