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New suicide prevention program launching in Grande PrairieMy Grande Prairie Now
April 11, 2023
The Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention, located in Grande Prairie, in partnership with Centre for Suicide Prevention, has launched the Skills for Safer Living Program – a 4-week support group offering skills development to young people who have thoughts of suicide and their caregivers. Public Education and Outreach Director Tammy Monro says, “It’s about teaching them the skills to stay safe for now and it can be for all youths. Because when youths are thinking about suicide that is often the only choice they see, and our goal is to let them know there is another option.” This program is being offered at no-cost thanks to funding from the Government of Alberta. 

Skills for Safer Living is also being offered in Calgary, Medicine Hat, Stony Plain and Spruce Grove.

Suicide Rates Rose in 2021 After a Pandemic-Era DropTIME
April 13, 2023
The US National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has released a new report of suicide rates from 2001 to 2021, finding an increase in rates in 2021 following two years of decline. In 2021, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the US, whereas in 2020, it was the 12th leading cause. Other noted findings include that suicide did not increase overall during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (2019-2020), but some age groups did see an increase, for example, young people’s rates increased – and nearly doubled from 2001 to 2021 for young women ages 15 to 24. Sally Curtin, statistician and co-author of the NCHS report, said, “Suicide among youth has definitely received increased attention, but that attention needs to continue because the rates aren’t turning around yet.” Black women saw the highest increase in suicide rates with a 14% increase compared to a 3% increase among white women. Black men saw an 11% increase compared to 3% in white men. American Indian and Native American people had the highest rates of suicide. Curtin says, “There is a little bit of good news in that the rates had been declining but now there are nearly across-the-board increases.”

My boyfriend died by suicide during my junior year at Brown University. 6 months later, I’m still grieving the loss.Insider
April 13, 2023
In this article, Dorrit Corwin talks about her grief following the suicide of her boyfriend Jameson. Jameson died last year while they were both students at Brown University. Corwin says, “The so-called five stages exist, but there is no timeline to them; sometimes I experience all five within the span of a day. My No. 1 coping mechanism has always been writing. On the day that Jameson died, I began a fragmented pseudo-journal. It took me a lot longer to begin stringing any thoughts into coherent sentences. Now that I am able to, it feels like I’ve grown wings. I hope those wings continue to bring me closer to those who want to show support — and closer to him.”

People with HIV have increased risk of suicide and depression in long-term Danish study NAM Aids Map
April 13, 2023
A Danish study has found that those with HIV are at greater risk of suicide compared to the general population, and are two times more likely to have depression, which was much more common than suicidality in this group. Lead author Lars Omland said, “Our findings clearly highlight the serious mental health implications of being given a diagnosis of HIV and the importance of clinicians looking out for of symptoms of depression in this high-risk population. Caring for people with HIV, which has traditionally focused on their physical health, should place more emphasis on their mental health.”

Why Are Lawyers at Greater Risk of Suicide?Psychology Today
April 12, 2023
People in the legal profession have been found to have higher rates of suicide ideation (8.5%) compared to those in the general population (4.3%). Lawyers face unique stressors, including stress from high expectations and difficult cases as well as over-commitment to work. They are also more likely to experience depression and other mental health issues, and they’re more likely to be lonely and/or socially isolated. Simon Sherry, PhD, says, “While stress, loneliness, over-commitment, and a history of mental health issues increase lawyers’ risk of suicide, we can do things to improve their lives and well-being.” Sherry suggests changing the urgency culture of the legal profession, reducing stigma around mental health issues, and providing lawyers with tools to cope with stress. 

The tragedy of Black youth suicideAssociation of American Medical Colleges
April 11, 2023
In the US, there has been a steady increase in suicide rates among Black young people – from 2018 to 2021, Black youth ages 10-24 saw a 37% increase in suicide rates. Black students also have a higher rate of suicide attempts compared to their white and Hispanic peers. The author of this article, Arielle H. Sheftall, PhD, suggests ways that these deaths can be prevented, including by increasing research in this area, implementing more evidence-based suicide prevention programming for Black youth, and increasing the number of Black mental health care workers. Sheftall says, “It will not be easy to reduce the rates of Black youth suicide. What has been done thus far is not working, and we now need everyone vested in the problem to come to the table. Researchers, clinicians, policymakers, community leaders — and Black youth themselves — need to address the problem together.”

‘Major need’ for suicide prevention measures for nursesNursing Times
April 11, 2023
A new study from the UK reviewing over 100 published papers has found “substantial evidence” that nurses have a higher risk of suicide compared to those in the general population. Researchers suggest developing and implementing primary and secondary interventions that are co-developed with nurses, for example, educating nurses about how to be mentally and physically well, alongside the provision of psychological and peer support. Study authors attribute the “occupational difficulties” of nursing to increased rates, as well as psychiatric disorders, substance use, and physical health issues. Study co-lead Professor Keith Hawton says, “Nursing is a physically and psychologically demanding occupation, including long and irregular working hours, high workload, low staffing levels, frequent emotional demands, and challenging working relationships.” Female nurses were also found to have a higher risk of suicide compared to male nurses. Professor Hawton said, “For female nurses, there is often the additional challenge of balancing work and home life, with women still undertaking most of the burden of unpaid care work. These challenges may contribute to the prevalence of psychiatric conditions and burnout among nurses.”