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: 

How China’s rural elderly are being
left behind and taking their lives
– Globe and Mail
Mar. 13, 2016
In Canada, the elderly have the highest suicide rate. The same is true in
China, where nearly 1 in 3 seniors are taking their own lives. Recent changes
to China’s economy have transformed the social landscape significantly; farmers
are moving to urban centres where they can find work, meaning that the younger
generation are leaving their parents behind in their ancestral towns. This
isolation could be partly to blame for the high suicide rate. China is unique
in that suicides are due in large part to negative life events, as opposed to
deeper mental health issues. 

University mental health challenge to
study mood changes through app
Mar. 13, 2016
The Mood Check Challenge asks students from 9 Canadian universities to check in
twice a day for 11 days to track their mood, activity, and who they’re with.
The challenge is seeking to inform students of the correlation between activity
and mood. 

A virtual treatment for real
Mar. 13, 2016
Researchers have developed a treatment for depression that heavily involves
virtual reality, arguing that this immersive experience can have strong effects
on mental health. 

Pimicikamak declares state of
emergency to deal with suicide crisis
Mar. 10, 2016
After 6 suicide deaths in just 4 months Pimicikamak Cree Nation has declared a
state of emergency to deal with the crisis. They are asking for 6 mental health
workers and the availability of counselling services 24/7 until the crisis is
over. They would also like to see more job opportunities arise, as
80% of people who live on the reserve are out of work. Finally, they are
asking for a hospital and youth recreational facilities. 

Related –
More details emerge about suicide
crisis at Pimicikamak Cree Nation
Mar. 10, 2016
The majority of the 6 suicide deaths to happen in the span of just 4 months on
the reserve were of individuals who had some involvement in the child and
family services system, including 3 teens in the care of CFS, and a mother whose
children has CFS involvement. There are 100 other community members currently
on a suicide watch list. 
Carolyn Bennett says government
reaching out to Manitoba reserve in suicide crisis
Toronto Star
Mar. 10, 2016
Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and Health Minister Jane Philpott
say that the government is determined to address the reasons that so many
aboriginal people are taking their own lives, recognizing this problem is not
unique to Pimicikamak Cree Nation. 
Pimicikamak youth fundraise for
suicide prevention conference
Mar. 11, 2016
Mervin McLeod, a youth who lives on Pimicikamak Cree Nation, has started a
youth group called Project STOP that will host a fundraiser with all proceeds
going to send 45 youth to a suicide prevention conference in April, where they
will receive suicide prevention training. 
Assembly of First Nations chief calls
for national suicide prevention strategy
Mar. 11, 2016
National Chief Perry Bellegarde with the AFN has called for a suicide
prevention strategy to be put in place by the federal government, which should
include adequate mental health supports, recreational facilities, proper
education and the restoration of cultural pride among aboriginal youth. 


Mar. 10, 2016
TSN’s Michael Landsberg has long been an advocate for mental health on several
platforms, most notably on TV, as part of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, and on
Twitter via his personal account. This past week, Landsberg
launched his mental health website SickNotWeak. The website
offers a chat service, stories of lived experience, blog posts about mental
illness, and more. 

Self-harm by girls on the rise,
‘overwhelming’ emergency departments
Mar. 9, 2016
Stats Canada has found that the number of females (ages 10-17) hospitalized for
self-harm has doubly increased, and Distress Centre Calgary’s teen help line,
ConnecTeen, has found that there is an increase not only in self-harm related
instances but also of other mental health issues such as anxiety and

Causes of Death, Australia, 2014
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Mar. 8, 2016
The Bureau of Statistics in Australia has released their latest suicide data
and found that there was an increase of 342 deaths in 2014 when compared to
2013. Australia saw 2,864 suicide deaths, 2,160 males and 704 females. 
Related – National peak body calls for Australia
to stem the tide of suicide
Suicide Prevention Australia

Researchers prove that depression
affects your body on a cellular level
Mar. 7, 2016
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has found a link
between oxidative stress and depression. These findings may help explain the
link between depression and physical illness, such as cardiovascular disease
and cancer.

Nunavut releases 1-year action plan on
suicide prevention
Mar. 7, 2016
Nunavut has just released their Suicide Prevention Strategy Action Plan, Resiliency Within.
The government will work with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the
RCMP, and the Embrace Life Council to fulfill the  8 commitments
included in the plan. 
Related – Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami puts suicide
prevention at top of list