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:
‘It’s such a lonely loss’: Northern Sask. families affected by suicide call for more open discussion – CBC
August 26, 2017
A group of families from northern Saskatchewan who have been affected by suicide are walking 240 kilometers in less than a week to bring awareness to the issue of suicide. “There’s lots of people that go through the same thing and as much as it is hard to speak up and say that you need help, it’s not something to be afraid of or ashamed of,” said March organizer Kimberley Michelle Beatty.
After a suicide, sibling survivors are often overlooked – NPR
August 25, 2017
People who experience the loss of their sibling to suicide are often “fall under the radar,” as their parents are usually the focus of follow-up mental health supports. This may lead the sibling survivor to become depressed and at-risk for suicide themselves. Dr. Steven Rogers of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center encourages parents of children who have lost a sibling to, “Talk with your kids and never diminish their feelings,” he says. “If they say they’re really feeling guilty and it’s all their fault, tell them you know what they’re feeling because you feel it, too. Then reassure them that it’s normal, but it’s not their fault.”
Postpartum depression can affect dads – and their hormones may be to blame – The Conversation
August 24, 2017
About 10% of men experience depressive symptoms after the birth of a child, which is double the average rate of the symptoms in men. PPD in women is linked to hormonal shifts, but until recently the cause of PPD in men has been unknown. A new study has found that testosterone levels fluctuate in men after the birth of a child, and tend to lower and low levels of testosterone are linked to depression.
U of M study: Increased suicide risk among mothers of children with FASD – CTV
August 24, 2017
A recent University of Manitoba study has found a link between mothers who give birth to children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder have an increased risk for suicide attempts and deaths. “We found that social and health challenges faced by mothers of children with FASD place them at increased risk for suicide,” said the study’s lead author, PhD candidate Deepa Singal, in a release.
Google quiz to help diagnose users with depression – Telegraph
August 24, 2017
Google will now provide a depression self-assessment quiz link to people in the US who Google questions like “Am I depressed?” or “Do I have depression?” This quiz feature was developed in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in the US. It’s a clinically approved method of screening for depression. “An online survey is never a good substitute for seeing your GP or another health professional,” said Rachel Boyd of mental health charity Mind. “However, these surveys may be helpful in encouraging people to recognise that what they are experiencing is real and that support is available.”
Back to the land: How one Indigenous community is beating the odds – The Conversation
August 23, 2017
One community in northern Ontario is the center of a university research project for its low rates of suicide and mental health services utilization. The community has experienced the same historical trauma (brought on by colonialism) as other communities, but has much more positive mental health outcomes overall. “We have a belief,” said a community member. “I’m not going to give it a word of religion or culture. No, it’s a way of life, you know. It always was in the beginning, and it is today.” Community members say they are very close to the land, and that they feel a strong sense of identity and autonomy.
Suicide of young mothers leave northern Sask. community reeling – CBC
August 22, 2017
Two women have died by suicide and another is recovering from a suicide attempt in Birch Narrows First Nation, a small northern Saskatchewan community. Suicide attempts have gone up in recent years, but the community is determined to find solutions. They already have mental health and addiction workers, a youth centre, new school, hockey arena, and other amenities. “It needs to stop now. We have to fight for our community,” Birch Narrows Chief Jonathon Sylvestre told CBC News Monday.