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:

Alberta suicide rate dropped dramatically in 2016CBC
Apr. 10, 2017
CSP’s Librarian & Writer Robert Olson was interviewed for this piece in response to the release of new stats that show the suicide rate in Alberta has dropped from 662 in 2015 to 460 in 2016. “One possible explanation is because of the reduction of stigma towards suicide and mental health in general. They’re seeking help more readily than they used to,” said Olson. Jerilyn Dressler of the Distress Centre noted that more people had been accessing crisis services: “Our increases are beyond what we would expect based on population growth. So we do hope people are more willing or more likely to reach out for support.” Both Olson and Dressler attribute the decline in suicides to a reduction of stigma, and a growing awareness of the issue.

Related: Alberta sees fewer suicides, more online chat requestsMetro
April 10, 2017

A year of mental health challenges after the Fort McMurray wildfireCBC
April 17, 2017
This piece features people and organizations who were affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires, and talks about the many impacts the natural disaster had on their operations, and their mental health. “It was a traumatic experience for a lot of people … mental health is a challenge in society today,” said John Whelan, a senior vice-president with Imperial Oil.

Prince Harry: I sought counselling after 20 years of not thinking about the death of my mother, Diana, and two years of total chaos in my lifeDaily Telegraph
April 17, 2017
Prince Harry told the Daily Telegraph that he sought grief counselling for the first time almost 20 years after the death of his mother. Prince Harry describes being “very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions,” and was urged by Prince William to seek help. Four years ago, he decided to seek counselling and is now in a “good place.”

Why Prince Harry’s mental health message to men is so important, according to expertsIndependent
April 17, 2017
Cal Strode, spokesperson for the Mental Health Foundation in the UK, believes that men need to be able to speak about  their emotions, and is applauding Prince Harry for talking about his struggles with mental health after the death of his mother, Princess Diana. “We need to challenge toxic ideas of masculinity that prevent openness and vulnerability in men,” said Strode. ”It takes real courage to be open and honest about mental health, but when suicide is the leading cause of death for young men, we all have a responsibility to push for cultural change.”

‘My kid was talking about suicide’ Winnipeg Free Press 
April 16, 2017
Unfortunately, suicide is a reality for children, as Benjamin Thompson can attest to. His son Benjamin was talking about suicide when he was in kindergarten, after the family moved to rural Manitoba for what they thought would be a safer community than inner city Winnipeg. Instead, Benjamin Thompson and his sister Bailey, who are Indigenous and Caucasian, have been discriminated against because they are not Mennonites, and they look different from the other kids. “It’s horrible going into stores and them looking at you in disgust. I thought I left the city for a better life. I worked hard and said, ‘I will give my kids a better life than growing up downtown’,” said Thompson.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a ‘suicide magnet.’ So officials are adding a netTime
April 14, 2017
Construction has begun on the Golden Gate Bridge’s suicide net, which is being put in place to prevent suicide. The Bridge is a “suicide hot spot;” more than 1,500 people have died since it’s construction in 1937.

1 year after suicide crisis, Attawapiskat still lacking mental health resourcesGlobal
April 12, 2017
On April 9, 2016, First Nations leaders in northern Ontario declared a state of emergency after more than 100 suicide attempts in the 7 months previous. To this day, Attawapiskat residents don’t have access to permanent mental health workers due to issues related to housing. Former Attawapiskat Chief Bruce Shisheesh said “My people are still suffering from poor conditions, poor housing, poor water supply, poor employment… I was told by the prime minister and the leaders, the ministers, there would be something — two mental health workers — still today there is no mental health workers.”

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