Promoting Mental Health and Understanding SuicideConversations on Wellbeing at Work
August 22, 2023
Executive Director Mara Grunau was featured on the Wellbeing at Work podcast, discussing suicide prevention and life promotion in the workplace. Grunau says, “People bring their whole selves to work. So we’ve had an era of, you know, you leave your personal stuff at the door, you’re at work, you focus on work and then you know, you pick up your personal stuff on your way home. But we know that that’s not actually ever possible. If something is looming at home, it affects us, no matter where we are, and vice versa… Managers can… set up a culture of safety, a place where people feel like they can be their authentic selves, that they’re not going to be punished or looked over for promotions… or disadvantaged in any way if they’re upfront with how their mental health is on a day to day basis.”

Japanese family says young doctor took his life after working 200 hours overtime in a single monthCNN
August 23, 2023
Shingo Takashima, 26, a physician in Japan, died by suicide last year. His family, including mother Junko Takashima, is speaking out about the overwork that they believe contributed to his death. Takashima said, “My son will not become a kind doctor, nor will he be able to save patients and contribute to society. However, I sincerely hope that the working environment for doctors will be improved so that the same thing will not happen again in the future.” Before his death, Shingo worked more than 200 hours of overtime in one month and hadn’t had a day off for three months.

More obituaries acknowledge suicide as openness on mental health growsWashington Post
August 22, 2023
Dan Reidenberg, psychologist and managing director of the National Council for Suicide Prevention in the US, says that it’s becoming more common for suicide to be mentioned as a cause of death in obituaries, which in the past would have been unheard of. Reidenberg explains, “The stigma is changing. There is still some, but it’s less than it used to be, and that’s increasing people’s willingness to include it in an obituary.” Reidenberg notes that it’s important to tell a balanced story, leaving out details of method or location of death, and not glorifying the person who died in a way that might encourage others to consider the same means of death. Expert on prolonged grief disorder Holly Prigerson says, “Part of adjusting to the loss of someone is coming up with a story of what happened and why. To the extent that you can’t be honest and acknowledge what happened if it’s a death due to suicide, that will complicate, if not impede, your ability to fully and accurately process your loss… Not acknowledging how someone died, denying the cause of death, avoiding the reality of what happened is a significant barrier to being able to adjust to what happened and to move forward.”

Suicide Most Common Cause of Death in Those Treated for Bipolar DisorderMad in America
August 21, 2023
**Method warning** A recent study of data from Finland has found that people with bipolar disorder are 6 times more likely to die from external causes – accidents or suicide – than the general population. Researchers say, “Targeting preventive interventions for substance abuse will likely reduce the mortality gap both due to external causes and somatic causes. Suicide prevention remains a priority, and better awareness of the risk of overdose and other poisonings is warranted.”