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:
‘I never faked my love for you:’ A mother opens up after her suicide attempt – NPR
August 24, 2018
*Method warning* This is an update about a radio story in which a mother and daughter described what it was like when the mother, Linda Kwong, attempted suicide in 2012. Her daughter Emily was 21 at the time. They discussed the difficult feelings that they’ve had to work through to get to the point they’re at now: “It’s been nearly five years since they recorded [the] conversation. Linda, now 57, and Emily, 28, say it helped them to begin rebuilding their relationship.”
More firefighters committed suicide in 2007 than died in line of duty – Forbes
August 23, 2018
In a 2015 survey of first responders in the US, 37% of 4,000 respondents said that they had thought about suicide, while 7% had attempted. These rates are more than 10 times higher than in the general population. Despite these high numbers, though, the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance believes these numbers are under-reported. Find out more about first responders and suicide in our toolkit on the subject.
This is the suicide story you’re not hearing – Cosmopolitan
August 21, 2018
*Method warning* This feature tells the stories of women who have thought about and, in some cases, attempted suicide and how they received help. Carly Schwartz, who struggled with thoughts of suicide and depression, said: “It just felt like I belonged nowhere and that’s the loneliest place—feeling like you don’t even belong on this planet… My suicidal thoughts started to get really loud and real. I told myself that I could end everything and not be tortured by my own mind anymore. I started looking around for painless ways I could do it.”
How smoky skies from wildfires are affecting British Columbians’ mental health – CBC
August 21, 2018
The heavy smoke that fills the air in British Columbia as a result of hundreds of ongoing wildfires is having an affect on the mental health of some people living in the province. “I think for a lot of people, they are feeling kind of gloomy about it because it feels as though our summer has come to such an incredibly abrupt end,” said Christa Mullaly, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association in Kamloops, B.C.”The contradiction right now is that we are being told to stay indoors and part of what that creates for folks is social isolation,” Mullaly said. “If people can get out of their houses and get to a place indoors with other folks, that helps to improve our mood certainly.”
Online suicide and the dark psychology of internet insult forums – Conversation
August 21, 2018
This article covers the issue of internet insult forums, where people log on “for the sole reason of abusing others in an attempt to force them to leave the thread.” People who enter the sites and are thinking about suicide have a heightened risk and some have died by suicide after logging on. “In our work highlighting these issues within the media, we have called on social media sites to do more to protect their users and requested a discussion around the issue of anonymity. Without accountability, it will always be harder to safeguard vulnerable people online,” the authors of the article assert.
1,235 people have died on Canadian subway and rail tracks since 2007. Why don’t we have safety barriers? – The Star Vancouver
August 19, 2018
Since 2007, 1,235 people have died on railway corridors across the country, and most by suicide. These suicides can be prevented by installing barriers along tracks that can be accessed by the public, and the head of the Amalgamated Transit Union of Canada, Paul Thorp, said he believes such barriers should be in place nationwide. “Any transit agency that is not putting in these barriers due to financial costs need to stop putting a price on humanity… The tragedies of somebody being pushed or accidentally being caught is something that we can definitely sympathize with families.” Operators working in the trains at the time of a suicide death are often traumatized, and may themselves face mental health issues after the incidents.