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:
Suicide attempts spike in St. Albert: average of one every day – St. Albert Gazette
May 21, 2016
This past Monday, St. Albert Community and Social Development submitted a report to council that revealed a shocking statistic: in the first 3 months of 2016, the community averaged one suicide attempt per day. This may partly be due to the economic state of the province; Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) Executive Director Mara Grunau told the St. Albert Gazette that for every 1% increase in unemployment there is a 0.79% increase in the suicide rate. CSP Trainer Scott Rodda was also interviewed as director of the department that compiled the report and said, “The turn in the economy in general challenges people’s resiliency and resolve.”
Firefighters help their colleagues deal with stress of Alberta wildfire – Calgary Herald
May 23, 2016
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a relatively common disorder in first responders, and is now a prospect that the firefighters who dealt with the Fort McMurray wildfire are facing. In an attempt to curb instances of PTSD, Patrick Jerome, a Medicine Hat firefighter, travelled with his Critical Incident Stress Management Team to Fort McMurray to help crews in the region deal with the stress of the wildfire.
Chief reports six more suicide attempts in devastated Canadian Attawapiskat Tribe – NBC
May 22, 2016
Chief Shisheesh has announced that six more suicide attempts took place over the span of about a week just this past week.
ATA concerned about mental health of displaced Fort McMurray students and Syrian refugees – Global News
May 21, 2016
The Alberta Teacher’s Association (ATA) is meeting to discuss what can be done to not only help those students whose education was disrupted by the wildfire in Fort McMurray continue their schooling, but also to help them cope with the trauma of dealing with the natural disaster. They are also concerned about Syrian refugee children who have also faced trauma, and are asking the government for enhanced funding for refugee students.
Attawapiskat youth group cleans up community to cope during suicide crisis – CBC
May 19, 2016
Youth in Attawapiskat are helping clean up their community as a way to help amidst the suicide crisis they continue to face. Helping to clean up the community keeps the youth occupied with meaningful work, which also helps protect them from suicide ideation.
Labrador Inuit suicide rate 20 times non-Indigenous Newfoundland rate: study – Globe and Mail
May 19, 2016
A new study, co-authored by Dr. Jong, president of the Canadian Society of Circumpolar Health, has found that there is an astonishingly high rate of suicide for the Inuit people of Newfoundland: 165 per 100,000 – 20 times higher than the general population. Newfoundland’s deputy minister of health and social development, Michelle Kinney, believes “we need to get back to the land and the connection to the land."
Inuk artist pleads for ‘state of emergency’ to deal with suicides – CBC
May 19, 2016
Beatrice Deer, an Inuit singer, is asking leaders in Nunavik to declare a state of emergency due to the high number of suicides experienced in the region, with the aim of bringing mental health supports into the community. Deer herself has experienced mental health issues, and had to move away from her hometown of Quataq in order to obtain the mental health services she required.
New ways of thinking about mental health – University of Calgary
This very in-depth article by the University of Calgary gives a great overview of the research being done there regarding postpartum depression, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Researchers are working towards identifying "strengths-based, empowering approaches” to deal with these mental health disorders.
Reflections on suicide – First Nations communities and beyond – Visions: BC’s Mental Health and Addictions Journal
Long-time suicide researcher and recent suicide loss survivor Chris Lalonde discusses suicide grief. First, he discusses the grief he felt as a father after losing his son to suicide, then, the grief that is felt by entire communities upon the loss of loved ones.