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:

Opinion: Advice I never wanted to giveNew York Times
August 18, 2018
In this opinion article, comedian Adam Cayton-Holland discusses how, after the suicide death of his little sister, he struggled to express his emotions: as a comedian, he was used to using humour as a coping mechanism, “But I didn’t know how to joke about what happened to Lydia. And I didn’t want to. Something felt so cheap about that — unloading a hot 10 minutes on suicide for guys drinking buckets of Bud Lights. It felt beneath Lydia. And yet the desire to express my feelings about everything that happened was overwhelming me.” Cayton-Holland started writing about his emotions online, and began receiving questions about how to cope and what to do if someone is concerned about a loved one. “It was as if a train had barreled through my house, devastating my entire family in the process, and all anyone could think to do was ask me to tell them more about this train… I don’t know anything about trains! I’m just trying to put my house back together!” But Cayton-Holland did respond, despite not knowing what to say: “When people write to me concerned that someone they love is suicidal, my advice is unflinching: There may be nothing you can really do, but whatever you’re doing to help, do more of it.”

More women than men are dying by suicide in psychiatric hospitals and after I was sectioned I know some of the reasons whyIndependent 
August 18, 2018
This article is written from the perspective of Joy Hibbins (now CEO of Suicide Crisis in the UK)  who was “sectioned into” (admitted to) a psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act, “The act of sectioning was in itself profoundly traumatic. My liberty had been taken, causing the resurgence of feelings of imprisonment and being trapped that I experienced during the traumatic event that originally triggered my suicidal crisis. My control had been taken from me once again. I was powerless.” She discusses why women die in psychiatric hospitals based on her own personal and witnessed experiences as well as research done by her organization, Suicide Crisis and argues: “Sectioning can and does save lives. But there is an urgent need for a greater understanding of the impact of sectioning on traumatised women. We need to do more to protect their lives.”

Montreal metro system getting “anti-suicide” barriers at 13 stationsMontreal Gazette
August 17, 2018
Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is installing suicide barriers in 13 metro stations across the city, and will be equipping all future LRT stations with the barriers.

Suicide prevention: Keep writing your story, says woman who lost friend to suicideWindsor Star
August 17, 2018
Andrea Milne, who lost her friend Jordan Caine to suicide in 2014, is encouraging others to reconsider before taking their lives: “If you’re having thoughts of suicide, reach out. This pain ends. It’s temporary.” She’s also encouraging everyone to check up on friends and family who have mental illness: “Take that extra step… Give them a call. Give them a text… Don’t just say ‘I’m here’ and leave the door open because often their negative conversation in their mind is telling them: ‘They’re just saying that just to feel sorry for me.’”

Coroner’s office starts releasing stats on suicide deaths in SaskatchewanCBC
August 16, 2018
Saskatchewan’s coroner’s office has published the province’s suicide statistics on their website, broken down by year, sex and age group. The stats also include a breakdown of suicides by ethnicity. We at the Centre for Suicide Prevention collect these stats directly from the coroner’s office, and publish them on our website.

New provincial suicide statistics a chance for dialogue, says brother of victimRegina Leader-Post
August 16, 2018
John Hopkins, CEO of Regina Chamber of Commerce, has responded to the Saskatchewan coroner’s office publication of suicide stats by remembering his brother Barry Hopkins, who died by suicide when he was 49 years old. Barry struggled with bipolar disorder and had previous suicide attempt. “The pain of living became too much for him and he decided to do what he did,” said John. “I think the more we can bring awareness to mental health and people getting help, the more likely we are to prevent suicide.”

This farmer is taking rural America’s mental health crisis into his own handsVice 
August 16, 2018
Jeff Ditzenberger, a farmer from Wisconsin, US and suicide attempt survivor, found it difficult to get help for his depression, as there was seemingly no one to talk to in his rural farming community, and the wait list for a psychiatrist was long. Ditzenberger, looking to fill this gap, started a support group in 2015 called TUGS: Talking, understanding, growth and support, which is aimed at informally helping farmers and other rural people to talk about mental health in an effort to destigmatize mental health and suicide.

‘Don’t stop the conversation about suicide’ Nursing Times
August 16, 2018
This article, written by a nurse for nurses, acknowledges that most nurses know the warning signs of suicide and also to ask a patient directly if they’re thinking about suicide. “Nurses are encouraged to talk to their patients and ask them directly about suicidal ideation… Nurses are aware that patients who are feeling suicidal generally feel a sense of relief when the nurse openly discusses suicidality and those patients who are not suicidal, generally reassure the nurse that they do not feel that way,” says the article. However, sometimes patients, despite having had the chance to be heard, still die by suicide, which can sometimes result in blame being placed on the healthcare system.

A suicide net is quietly being added to the Golden Gate Bridge. Here’s why it’s so controversialFortune 
August 15, 2018
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, has long been a suicide hot spot: since its construction in 1937, 1700 people have died at the Bridge. A net to prevent suicides is being constructed, and is expected to be completed in 2021. This article outlines why the barriers were opposed, including financial concerns and skepticism about the effectiveness of a barrier, but ultimately concludes: “With construction finally underway, the decades-long debate about whether and how to build a barrier to keep people from jumping into the San Francisco Bay should finally be put to rest.”

Winnipeg family fights for more addictions support after losing son to suicideCBC
August 15, 2018
Gabriel Pereira, 20, died by suicide after struggling with a drug addiction. Pereira, who was suffering from drug-induced psychosis died a week after he had been admitted to the psychiatric ward of the Concordia Hospital, where he stayed for only one day before being released. When asked why he was released, his mother was told he would fare better in rehab.

Suicide survivor gets ‘ultimate second chance’ after historic face transplant CNN
August 15, 2018
*Method warning* Katie Stubblefield attempted suicide as a teenager, and as a result, had lost many of the functions performed by her face. Now she’s able to chew, breath and swallow on her own thanks to face transplant surgery. At 21, she’s the youngest person in the US to have received the surgery. Since her attempt, Stubblefield has become an advocate for suicide prevention. Stubblefield’s face transplant journey is featured in the September 2018 issue of National Geographic.
Related – *Graphic imagery warning* Katie’s new faceNational Geographic
Related – Canadian surgeon helps with face transplant for young suicide survivorCTV 

A traumatic brain injury may increase the risk of suicide, study saysWashington Post 
August 14, 2018
A recently released study out of Denmark found that 10% of Danish people who died by suicide between 1980 and 2014 also had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). “Individuals with mild TBI, with concussion, had an elevated suicide risk by 81 percent,” said Trine Madsen of the Danish Research Institute of Suicide Prevention, one of the authors of the study. “But individuals with severe TBI had a higher suicide risk that was more than double [the risk of someone with no TBI].” It was found that three factors that most predicted suicide risk were: the severity of the TBI, a first incidence occurring in young adulthood and discharge from a hospital for TBI in the previous 6 months.

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