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:

’13 Reasons Why’ sparks concerns among mental health advocates: ‘Suicide is not glamorous’ – Global
Apr. 20, 2017
The release of the Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’ follows the story of a bullied teen who ultimately dies by suicide. Though it is rated ‘mature’ for people over 17, the show has become popular among teens, and mental health experts are concerned, as the show does not follow media guidelines, put in place to help prevent suicide. “We very much don’t want to glamorize or sensationalize (suicide), and we’re fearful that this series might stray into that territory. And we don’t want people left with the message or misunderstanding that suicide is a solution to bullying.”

Related: Statement re: Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why series – Centre for Suicide Prevention
Apr. 19, 2017

Infantry soldier’s story reveals gaps in Canadian Forces’ inquiry systemGlobe and Mail
Apr. 23, 2017
On Tuesday, military ombudsman Gary Walbourne will release a report, the result of a collaborative review with the Canadian Forces, that will provide recommendations to the Canadian Forces on how to deal with families bereaved by the suicide deaths of military personnel and veterans and how to improve the board of inquiry system. “Having these boards of inquiry, especially when there is a death of a military member, can at the end of the day save lives. There are lessons learned. They are incredibly important,” said Walbourne. This article features the story of Private Welch, who died by suicide back in 2004 after returning from Afghanistan. There has still been no inquiry into the cause of his suicide death.

The troubling link between springtime allergies and suicide Atlantic
Apr. 21, 2017
Although suicide rates are fairly consistent throughout the year, there is a slight increase in springtime. University of Maryland psychiatry professor Teodor Postolache and a team of researchers found a link between suicide and pollen-induced allergies. In 2005, they saw that suicide rates among women doubled, and sometimes quadrupled (depending on age) during peak pollen season. Other studies have had similar findings, too. “I think it points toward a strong link between allergic rhinitis and mental health,” said Christopher Lowry, a professor of integrative physiology at the University of Denver.

Hernandez’s death shines light on larger problem of prison suicidesNewsweek
Apr. 20, 2017
Aaron Hernandez was a former NFL player, and had been convicted of murder and was serving a life sentence in prison when he died by suicide in his prison cell. Hernandez died just days before a final court date. Christine Tartaro, author of Suicide and Self-Harm in Prisons and Jails, said that suicide in prison is common, and inmates going through the trial process are at particularly high risk. Learn more about prison suicide in CSP’s infoExchange article on the topic.

Toronto police memorial will now include officers lost to suicideCity News
Apr. 20, 2017
The family of Sgt. Eddie Adamson, who died by suicide after suffering trauma from a work-related incident, filed a claim against Toronto Police as, when Adamson died, Toronto Police would not include his name on a public memorial because he died by suicide. Other names have been blocked from the memorial for this reason, but now, thanks to the claim filed, the Ontario Human Rights commission has found that the Toronto Police discriminated against Adamson “based on disability.” Adamson’s name will now be included on the memorial, and Toronto Police will need to “develop a process for the inclusion of names on the Memorial Wall.”

Are you calling in sick because of your mental health?Globe and Mail
Apr. 19, 2017
Over half a million people every day call in sick to work due to mental illness. This article advises people who are struggling with their mental health to such an extent that they are taking time off work should seek help and consult their medical doctor.

The story behind Russia’s male suicide problem – Ozy.com
Apr. 18, 2017
Men in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Poland, and Kazakhstan have a suicide rate of more than 6 times the rate for women. This far exceeds Canada’s 3 times higher rate. There are 36 per 100,000 suicide deaths in Russia (in Canada there are 17.4 per 100,000). William Alex Pridemore has done research into the subject, and has found that rates have been consistently high, ever since before the Russian Revolution, so unrest couldn’t necessarily be the cause of higher suicide rates. “Alcohol appears to play an important role,” said Pridemore, as men in these countries are more prone to binge drinking of hard liquor than in other parts of the world. Pridemore says that more research needs to be done to look into the causes of the high rates, though factors like access to lethal means and the use of more lethal means also play a role.

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