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:

Calif. student IDs must have suicide prevention phone numberInquirer.net
August 31, 2019
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, as well as the Crisis Text Line number, will appear on the student ID cards of all California students in grades 7 to 12, and in postsecondary. “Fifteen years ago, we would have never thought of having something like this on an ID card,” said Gil Ogden, director of student services for the Turlock Unified School District in California’s Central Valley. “This can be a real lifesaver to our kids.”

Amazon to offer help for customers who search about suicideReuters
August 29, 2019
Amazon is planning to promote crisis line numbers to customers who search the site for suicide-related topics or items. The numbers will appear in product descriptions for items related to suicide.

Manitoba First Nation confronts suicide crisis after four deaths, 22 attemptsNational Post
August 29, 2019
God’s Lake First Nation, a remote Manitoba First Nation community, has declared a state of emergency after experiencing four youth suicides and several suicide attempts over the summer. Advocates are calling on the federal government for help, and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak has sent a crisis response team to the community.

Restless legs syndrome linked with self-harm and suicide riskReuters
August 29, 2019
A new study out of the US has found a correlation between those with restless legs syndrome (RLS) and an increased risk of self-harm and suicidal behaviours. People with RLS, a neurological disorder, have an irresistible urge to their legs, even while sleeping. The study analyzed 169,000 patients, 24,000 of whom had RLS. Over the six year period of the study, those with RLS were 2.5 times more likely to self-harm or experience suicidal behaviours than those without RLS. RLS is also correlated with higher levels of depression. 

‘I’ve been there at the abyss’: UBC president shares personal mental health journeyGlobal
August 28, 2019
Ahead of a new school year, UBC President Santa Ono is encouraging students to speak up and seek help if they’re experiencing mental health issues by sharing his own experience. At age 14, he attempted suicide for the first time, and then again as a post-secondary student. Following the second attempt, Ono received treatment, taking medication and going to therapy. “I think that when I was in university there are many things that were conspiring to exacerbate my situation. I did not eat properly. I was probably undernourished, I didn’t sleep very well,” said Ono. “There are moments that were very happy for me being at university with other students my age, and there were other days where I would just be in my bed alone, not having the energy or the will to get up to feed myself or to shower… that’s something that occurs in many individuals’ lives, and many university students’ lives, and recognizing that I’m sort of a case in point of what can happen, I don’t want that to happen to other students at UBC or at any other institution.” 

I Lost My Mother And Daughter To Suicide, I Don’t Want To Lose My Indigenous Language TooCBC Parents
August 27, 2019
In this video, Janie, a Mohawk woman, talks about losing her mother and her daughter to suicide, and how, through their language, her and her son are able to find connections to identity and living. “My youngest son has been very, very blessed to be immersed in the Mohawk language. Language in every culture, I believe, is the cornerstone as far as your relationship with one another and more specifically in our culture, our relationship with nature,” says Janie. 

Commentary – Yes, Clinicians Can Reduce Suicide Risk in Their Patients MedScape
August 26, 2019
In this interview, Dr. Christine Moutier, medical director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), discusses how physicians can help prevent suicide in their patients. Moutier discusses the merits of safety planning: “Safety planning as an actual brief intervention is something you can do in the moment with a patient. (It) takes about 40 minutes to complete. It teams up with the patient to help them identify their own warning signs and triggers for crisis and suicide risk, and it outlines a series of steps they can take. It’s a plan that they keep with them… And it’s a very useful and increasingly evidence-based risk-reducing tool.” Moutier emphasizes that any suicide risk assessment should be thorough, including a history of suicide risk in that patient and any adverse childhood experiences they’ve had. 

A parking garage had 6 suicides in 4 years. Signs on the walls are trying to prevent more.Washington Post
August 26, 2019
Fonda Bryant, a suicide attempt survivor, asked the managers of a 12 story parking garage if they could post signs in the garage discouraging people from taking their lives, and providing crisis line numbers. Bryant explained, “In that moment when we’re suicidal, we don’t want to die. We just want that pain to go away. We also are thinking no one cares and no one understands. So I said, ‘If we put these signs up, we can save a life.’”