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:

Study: International suicide rates did not rise during pandemicGlobal National
April 13, 2021
A new study reports that global suicide rates did not increase in the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Suicide is often a lagging indicator so when something awful happens we don’t typically see suicide go up. We often see a ‘coming together’ effect, but as time goes on and people exhaust their personal resources, life can become more and more bleak,” says Mara Grunau, executive director at Centre for Suicide Prevention. Andrea Gordon, Buddy Up Champion and suicide prevention advocate, speaks about losing her partner David to suicide during the pandemic, “David felt very isolated, he was a very social person… he missed his friends and his family and all of that was adding to his anxiety and his worries about the future.”
Related – B.C. suicide rate declined 26 per cent in first eight months of COVID pandemicVancouver Sun

‘We don’t want any more tears’: First Nations urge Ottawa to boost mental health spendingCBC
April 17, 2021
First Nations leaders are asking the federal government for $1.3 billion in funding to improve mental health resources for First Nations people living on and off reserve. “First Nations wellness is directly associated with their culture and our culture is directly associated to our community,” said Cedric Gray-Lehoux, co-chair of the Assembly of First Nations Youth Council. “With these isolation mandates during the pandemic, of course, that sense of community is affected.”

Lexi Daken’s sisters are leaving reminders of her on their travels through the provinceCBC
April 17, 2021
Lexi Daken, 16, died by suicide in February of this year. Her sisters Piper and Brennah Daken are raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention by painting rocks with positive mental health messages and leaving them in public places around Fredericton, New Brunswick, in her memory. “It’s nice to have the community involved and to keep the message of the importance of mental health going,” said Piper Daken. “But it’s also therapeutic for us because the rocks are kind of like bringing Lexi along with us on our family trips and leaving a piece of her there.”

U.S. Suicides Declined Over All in 2020 but May Have Risen Among People of ColorNew York Times
April 15, 2021
Suicide rates in the US declined by 5% in 2020 among the general population, however, preliminary numbers from Illinois, Maryland, and Connecticut are showing an increase in suicides among Black residents as well as other people of colour. “We can’t make any bold statements until we have more national data,” said Arielle Sheftall, a principal investigator at the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “It may be that only certain areas or certain cities have experienced these increases” among people of color, she added.

Suicide Risk Significantly Higher for Nurses Compared to US PopulationHCP Live
April 15, 2021
*Method warning* A new study from the US finds that nurses are at a higher risk for suicide than those in the general population. From 2007 to 2018, the rate of suicide for the general US population was 20.1 per 100,000, and for nurses, it was 23.8. “Initiatives to promote clinician well-being should include a particular focus on nurses,” investigators concluded. “Our findings contribute to a growing body of literature suggesting that health care institutions should routinely assess clinician well-being and intervene if necessary, the benefits of which may extend well beyond the clinicians themselves.”

They lost a friend to suicide. Now, they’re on a 4,300-mile journey to help other young people who are struggling.Washington Post
April l4, 2021
Heath Saffer and Omar Baloch began a biking trip last week from Washington state to DC and Delaware in honour of their friend Devon Rubenstein, 20, who took his own life. They’ll be stopping along the way to speak with young people about mental health to break down the stigma and raise money for suicide prevention. “Obviously, we would like to honor the memory of our friend,” Baloch says of the trip’s purpose. “At the same time, Devon is not the only person who struggled. There are a lot of people out there who struggle. I think a big part of this is reaching those people and letting them know, you’re not alone.”

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