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 Shows Pandemic Tied To Spike In Suicide Among Black PeopleNPR
April 10, 2021
A new study from Maryland, US, has shown an increase in the suicide rate for Black people living in the state. Dr. Paul Nestadt, assistant professor of psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University, co-authored the study and said in an interview, “…Many experts thought that suicides in general were going to go up a lot during the pandemic because of all of those stressors that you listed at the beginning of the show. We didn’t see that happen in aggregate. But when we disaggregated the data… during… the first wave of COVID in Maryland, in the United States in general, there was this incredible doubling of the suicide numbers in African Americans here.”
Veterinarians group fighting ‘staggering’ statistics on death by suicide in professionCBC
April 8, 2021
Not One More Vet (NOMV) is a non-profit organization based in the US seeking to break down the stigma of mental illness and suicide in the veterinary profession. New grads of veterinary school face large amounts of debt, and vets are also subject to many other stressors at work, including long hours and frustrated clients who lash out publicly on social media and everyday in veterinarians’ offices. According to Dr. Lesley Steele, “Veterinarians are accused of not caring sometimes when they present a bill or a fee charged to clients that is beyond what the client can afford. (Clients) use language like, ‘You don’t care,’ or, ‘My animal’s going to die because you don’t care.’ We’re human beings. We take that home with us at night. We take that home and take that to bed with us at night.”

Suicidal thoughts are increasing in young kids, experts say. It began before the pandemic.NBC News
April 8, 2021
There is limited data about suicide in children, but data from the US has found that suicidal behaviours have been increasing in children since before the pandemic. In data collected from 46 hospitals in the US, there has been a steady increase in children presenting to the emergency room for suicidal behaviours since 2016. “We need to try to figure out why they’re making these attempts at such a young age,” said Diana Whalen, psychiatry professor, Washington University School of Medicine. “We need to open our eyes to the fact that this is going on.”
Learn more about children and suicide in our toolkit on the subject.

US suicides dropped last year, defying pandemic expectations Associated Press
April 8, 2021
The US saw it’s largest annual decline in suicides in 4 years in 2020, with 6% fewer suicides than the year before. One reason for the decline could be attributed to an increase in mental health services being offered remotely, virtually, or via phone. Research shows that suicide does often decline following a crisis, and, according to Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, “There’s a heroism phase in every disaster period, where we’re banding together and expressing lots of messages of support that we’re in this together. You saw that, at least in the early months of the pandemic.”

Why young people feel safer talking about suicide online than in real lifeConversation UK
April 8, 2021
Young people may be more likely to seek help online rather than in-person due to fear that their feelings will be invalidated. According to one study out of the UK, “Against the background of having been dismissed as ‘attention seeking’ in hospital, for example, or ostracised by friends, participants recounted feeling ‘safe,’ ‘heard’ and ‘accepted’ in online spaces that might appear from the outside to be anything but that. The internet and social media may be typically associated with confrontation and other unpleasant experiences, but they can provide incredibly supportive environments for some people.”

Pandemic takes tragic toll on international students with rising deaths by suicide: reportGlobal News
April 7, 2021
A report by non-profit One Voice Canada has found that the mental health international students is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report says there have been a number of suicides by international students living in Canada. Some factors that add stress to international students include paying high tuition fees and being taken advantage of by their employers.

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