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:

Cuthand: Solution to suicide crisis needs to come from Indigenous communityThe Star Phoenix
August 15, 2020
The rate of suicide among Indigenous people in Saskatchewan is three times higher than the Canadian average rate. Following last year’s release of a provincial suicide prevention plan, a bill was presented to implement the plan, however, it was voted down. Tristen Durocher walked from La Ronge to the legislature in Regina to protest the bill’s rejection. In this opinion piece, Doug Cuthand says that he believes that solutions will come from within Indigenous communities themselves: “The real answers to suicide prevention will come from within the community. We need to take control of our lives to make them meaningful. For so many years missionaries, bureaucrats and outside politicians have done the thinking for us and tried to pound the beautiful round brown pegs that are our people into the square holes of their choosing. It hasn’t worked and now its up to us. As they say, ‘If it’s your freedom you want, they don’t have it.'”

1 in 4 young people are reporting suicidal thoughts. Here’s how to helpCNN
August 15, 2020
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new survey data showing that, of the survey respondents, 1 in 4 young people ages 18-24 reported seriously considering suicide in the 30 days preceding the survey. In the general adult population, 11% seriously considered suicide in the same time frame, and 19% of Hispanics and 15% of Blacks reported thoughts of suicide. Vaile Wright, senior director of health care innovation for the American Psychological Association, said “Previous events have had a start, middle, an end. People can’t disconnect from (the pandemic). Nobody is immune to the stress of the pandemic,” and “we’re consistently hearing that young people are struggling and having a tough time.”

Mental health experts in Thunder Bay Ont. say the community ‘needs more’ when it comes to suicide preventionCBC
August 14, 2020
Following a recent public safety alert issued by Thunder Bay Police to indicate a rise in suicides and suicide attempts in the community, mental health experts are expressing their concerns.”We’ve been quite aware of the potential of the echo and what’s coming next. So we’ve been working hard… really really thinking about how we pivot to meet these needs… The high level of drugs in the community, and drug use, not enough programs for people to go and safely use alcohol and not have to drink on the street…I mean there’s so much more,” said Jennifer Hyslop, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Thunder Bay Branch.  “We’ve got some great services, but I think that as a community we need more.”

Opinion: Journalists must overcome their reticence to report on suicide – now more than everThe Guardian
August 12, 2020
This opinion piece from Australia addresses the concern that media outlets have refrained from reporting on suicide for fear that any reportage will cause a contagion effect. The chairman of Suicide Prevention Australia, psychiatrist Michael Dudley, said the fear of suicide contagion “has tilted the balance too far in the direction of silencing the media.”

NDP calls for public inquiry into Sask.’s high rates of suicideRegina Leader Post
August 11, 2020
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili is calling for a public inquiry into the high rate of suicide in the province. Justin Nyee, the uncle of Samwel Uko who died by suicide in Regina on May 21, supports the inquiry: “The bill of suicide prevention, it shouldn’t be a hard thing to do. Mental health doesn’t know a party; it happens to anyone.”

FSIN to create bill to address suicide preventionCTV News
August 11, 2020
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) will create a bill to address suicide in Saskatchewan. FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron, speaking from the legislature in Regina where advocate Tristen Durocher has been protesting the lack of implementation of the province’s suicide prevention plan, said that the FSIN will create their own bill to address suicide prevention in the province, built on recommendations from Indigenous peoples. “We all love our children,” Cameron said. “We should all try to save them.”

Are Men or Women at Greater Risk for Suicide? – Psychology Today Canada
August 10, 2020
Men die by suicide three times more often than women, and their suicide rates may go up further as a result of the rising rates of substance use, unemployment, anxiety, trauma and isolation. In a newly published article, Katerina Standish explains that she speculates men will feel ‘breadwinner stress.’ Another article notes that masculine gender-related personality traits are a risk factor for suicide.
To find out more about how suicide can be prevented in men, read our infographic and toolkit.

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