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:
Treating teen depression might improve mental health of parents, too – NPR
August 12, 2018
12.8% of American teens experience at least one episode of major depression, and the mental health of a teen also effects those of their parents. New research is showing that the flip side of that is true as well; that if teens receive mental health treatment and their health improves, their parent’s will, too.
New dads show signs of postpartum depression too, experts say – CBC
August 11, 2018
Data presented at the American Psychological Association annual convention demonstrated that 10% of new fathers experience symptoms of depression and anxiety in the weeks before, during, and/or after the birth of a child. One common sign of postpartum depression in men is staying at work as much as possible: “They feel out of control and useless at home, but if they work outside of the home, they tend to stick around work even beyond when they have to because they feel valued and more in control there,” said Daniel Singley, one of the presenters and a psychologist based in San Diego, Calif.
Margot Kidder’s death ruled suicide – Global
August 9, 2018
Margot Kidder, 69, who played Lois Lane in the Superman movies of the 80’s died in May. Last Wednesday, a coroner’s report revealed that she died by suicide. Maggie McGuane, her daughter, said she knew her mother died by suicide the moment she was taken to her mother’s home after her death. “It’s a big relief that the truth is out there,” she said. “It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this. It’s a very unique sort of grief and pain.”
Death of Fond-du-Lac firefighter reflects mental health concerns in northern Sask. – CBC
August 9, 2018
Frank Jr. McDonald, 22, a volunteer firefighter in Fond-du-Lac, Saskatchewan, is the second member the fire department has lost to suicide in three years. Derek Cook, who was a worked alongside McDonald, said that suicide is a concern in the region, due to the isolation and lack of resources.
Hegemonic sanity and suicide – Mad in America
August 9, 2018
This article, written from the perspective of a suicide attempt survivor, Jess Stohlmann-Rainey, a self-proclaimed “bad” attempter, discusses the narrative of “good” and “bad” suicide attempters. Stohlmann-Rainey looks at the media’s portrayal of people who attempt suicide: the “good” attempter – the person who attempts suicide and quickly changes their perspective towards one focused on living life to its fullest immediately following, and the “bad” attempter – the person who doesn’t want treatment, and who may claim “that they weren’t really suicidal; they just wanted attention.”
The hidden danger of suicide in autism – Spectrum
August 8, 2018
Few studies have reported the suicide rates in people with autism, however, one Swedish study found that they are 10 times more likely to die by suicide than those in the general population. The signs of suicide in people with autism are often dismissed by clinicians, even if they’re relatively obvious: “I think part of the problem is that we only see things we’re paying attention to,” says Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. “Until very recently, we didn’t expect to see it, so we didn’t see suicidality in patients with [autism]; it just wasn’t on our radar.”
How do veterinarians die? – McGill Office for Science and Society
August 7, 2018
Studies have found that veterinarians are between four to eight times more likely to die by suicide than those in the general population (those working in the industries of farming, fishing, and forestry have the highest rates). General stress caused by “long hours, high stakes, low levels of support and heavy workloads” are cited as factors, and as is the fact that veterinarians have access to lethal means. Vets are also often exposed to animals who have been abused, and euthanizing animals can also have an effect on their mental wellbeing.
Depression in the C-suite – CNN Money
August 7, 2018
Anyone can be affected by suicide including those who appear to be outwardly successful, like business leaders and entrepreneurs. In fact, they “might even be more vulnerable because of the outsized stresses of their jobs and the traits that have brought them success in the first place,” and “…it’s lonely at the top…” as well, “many executives have a hard time confiding in others.”
I went from NHS doctor to mental health patient overnight – Metro
August 7, 2018
This article is authored by a doctor who struggled with mental health issues throughout her life, and continued to do so after becoming a physician. Working 90 hour weeks, her mental health deteriorated to the extent that she began thinking about suicide frequently. “My suicidal thoughts got worse so my psychiatrist, who I saw once a month, thought an admission to a psychiatric ward would be the best thing for me. I wasn’t eating or sleeping so they thought an admission would help stabilize my mood and give me the support I needed. One Monday afternoon in February I went from working as a doctor, looking after sick people, to being a patient myself and the one that needed care,” she explains.
PTSD, suicide, and despair: the silent perils of being a firefighter – Vice
August 6, 2018
First responders are at greater risk for suicide than the general population, and this article explores why this is the case for firefighters. Firefighters face long work hours and exposure to trauma, and even when mental health supports are offered, the culture of the fire department makes helping people challenging. “There’s a stigma,” said Deputy Chief Mike Ming, who leads Cal Fire’s employee support services. “It comes from a history of a suck-it-up attitude, because that’s just what we do. We’re not awesome at tapping into emotions and we can store a whole career’s worth.”