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Is the Opioid Crisis Masking Real Rates of Suicides?WedMD Health News
April 21, 2022
This article explores causes of death during the pandemic, specifically, the 3% decrease in suicides and 29% increase in opioid-related deaths in the US in 2020 and 2021. Paul Nestadt, MD, a psychiatrist with Johns Hopkins University says, “It could be that overdose deaths are going up and they’re hiding the number of suicides.” Ian Rockett is an epidemiologist at West Virginia University whose research has found that in some states, many overdose deaths were classified as ‘undetermined’ and could perhaps be suicides. Rockett is advocating for the use of the psychological autopsy to better determine cause death. “If we’re really invested in obtaining high-quality suicide data, this can help,” he says.

Ontario woman fighting U.S. military for ‘wrongful death’ of ex-husband, an American soldier CBC
April 21, 2022
Kate Kemplin lost her ex-husband Sgt. Michael Froede to suicide in 2019, and is seeking damages from the US military on behalf of their two daughters, arguing that his death was preventable and that the military was negligent. Kemplin has studied military suicide and traumatic brain injuries. Froede had a documented brain injury and had been exhibiting severe mental health symptoms. “There’s really no excuse for Michael to not be alive right now,” said Kemplin. “They [the military] should be very embarrassed about how poorly they’ve handled suicides within their ranks, and hopefully, this will force a change and hopefully it’ll empower other families to do the same.”

Suicide leaves us asking ‘why?’ In new memoir, journalist searches for answersUSA Today
April 20, 2022
In a new memoir, USA Today journalist Laura Trujillo talks about losing her mother to suicide. Trujillo writes, “I wanted to know everything. Like a lot of people who lose someone they love to suicide, I had been shocked. Numb. Now I wanted to understand how this could have happened and what I could have done differently, what we all might have done differently to help her…. We’re not supposed to blame ourselves when someone we love kills themselves, but many of us do anyway.” Trujillo also discusses  experiencing suicide ideation following her mother’s death.
Memoir excerpt – **Method warning** A daughter’s search for truth and renewal after her mother’s suicideUSA Today

Suicide higher among physicians than general population Healio
April 19, 2022
A new study has found that physicians die by suicide more often than those in the general population and female physicians are more likely to die by suicide than male physicians. “The findings obtained, in short, suggest emphasizing the prevention of suicidal behavior in physicians and implementing specific measures for this purpose,” wrote study author Maria Irigoyen-Otinano and colleagues. “The medical practice has undergone numerous and important changes since its beginnings as a liberal profession up until the present. In some way, doctors have experienced a reduction in their autonomy by the increase in administrative tasks and health care pressure.”

Their teenage children died by suicide. Now these families want to hold social media companies accountableCNN
April 19, 2022
**Method warning** Several families who have lost their adolescent children to suicide are filing wrongful death lawsuits against SnapChat and Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company. They believe that social media played a role in their children’s deaths as they accuse the two companies of designing their platforms to addict users with their algorithms that lead to “never-ending” scrolling and exploit the decision-making and impulse control capabilities of young people due to their “incomplete brain development.” Jennifer Mitchell, who lost son Ian, 16, to suicide, says, “If we can put age restrictions on alcohol, cigarettes and to purchase a gun, something needs to be something done when it comes to social media. It’s too addictive for kids.” Donna Dawley lost her son CJ, 17, to suicide. Dawley says, “[This lawsuit] is not about winning or losing. We’re all losing right now. But if we can get them to change the algorithm for one child — if one child is saved — then it’s been worth it.”

How mental health training for regular citizens is helping to fill Canada’s therapy gapGlobe and Mail
April 16, 2022
**Subscriber-only content** This article talks about the benefits of mental health training for community members, framed through the story of Zachary Kaminsky, a suicide prevention researcher at the Royal, a psychiatric hospital in Ottawa. Though he doesn’t work directly with patients, Kaminsky took the ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and was able use his skills to intervene with someone actively thinking about suicide. “They tell you to be yourself, to be human,” says Kaminsky of what he learned in ASIST. “Just be there, and try to do your best.” Suicide prevention training for community members also benefits the overburdened mental health care system by empowering people to intervene with those who are thinking about suicide. Safety plans, crisis line supports, or other community supports such as peer support can then keep them safe while they wait to access care if needed. Training also helps reduce stigma and makes helping seem less onerous – Denise Waligora, a first aid training and delivery specialist with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, says, “One of the things that prevents people from reaching out and offering support is they think, ‘Oh, I need to have a fix. But we can’t fix the broken leg. We can’t take cancer away. And we still offer to help.”

Promoting life: Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle’s Indigenous teachings, workshops help at-risk residentsBarrie Advance
April 16, 2022
The Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle (BANAC) is offering a life promotion initiative with the Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Primary Care Team, which has clinics in Barrie and Orillia, Ontario. The initiative, Gathering Our Bundles, has allowed BANAC to create more life promotion opportunities in Indigenous communities. BANAC board president Lynn Monague-Sauve said, “We’ve seen how important the work of life promotion is here, and we are continuing that work that was started.”

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