Subscribe to receive the weekly news roundup straight to your inbox!

New strategy aims to tackle high suicide rates among Métis youthCBC
December 15, 2022
The Métis Nation of Alberta has released a Life Promotion Guide: Weaving Together Métis Knowledge and Practice, which focuses on supporting the development, implementation, and evaluation of programming connecting young people to life. Reagan Bartel, the MNA’s director of health said, “Life promotion ripples through everything we do. Mental health isn’t just a tick box, right? It’s a continuum. It’s a journey, and it’s every day. And so trying to weave those moments of joy and strength into every program.” Centre for Suicide Prevention were contributors to this guide, and CSP’s Community-led Life Promotion Plan for Indigenous Youth and Communities is included as a program planning resource. The Life Promotion Plan was developed alongside Elders and Knowledge Keepers across Alberta in partnership with Alberta Children’s Services, Alberta Health, and Alberta Health Services.

Government seeking delay to MAID expansion that would cover mental illnessCBC
December 15, 2022
The federal government was set to expand access to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) to those suffering solely from mental illnesses in March 2023, but they’re now seeking to extend that deadline. Justice Minister David Lametti said, “We want to be prudent, we want to move in a step–by-step way so that we don’t make mistakes.”

Related – Kristin Raworth: Expanding MAID without expanding supports just encourages suicideThe Line
This article explores the problematic nature of providing MAID to people suffering solely with a mental illness, especially when adequate mental health supports are not available. Kristin Raworth writes, “I have struggled over the years with thoughts of suicide. Thankfully because of the support I have and my access to therapy, I am okay. But many Canadians do not have that luxury. By expanding MAID access without also expanding support, the government is giving up hope on these people’s ability to get better, a hope many of us who have gone through MAID with a loved one would have given anything for.”

Tyler Perry Speaks Out About His Own Suicide Attempts in the Wake of tWitch’s DeathPeople
December 15, 2022
**Language warning – use of the word ‘commit’** Since the suicide death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss, director Tyler Perry has opened up about his own experiences with thoughts of suicide. Perry said in an Instagram Live, “I just want to take you back to a time in my life when I tried to (die by) suicide, a couple of times, because it was so dark I didn’t think it would get any better. I had endured so much pain, so much abuse, sexual abuse, it was all so hard to just move through that I thought the only way to make this better was to end my life. Had any of those attempts happened, I would’ve missed the best part of my life… I know it may seem like there’s no hope, but please reach out to someone … call, ask for help if you are dealing with anything that is emotionally taking you to a place where you think you want to end your life.”

Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, Former ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ DJ and ‘SYTYCD’ All-Star, Dead at 40People
December 14, 2022
Stephen “tWitch” Boss, 40, died by suicide last week. tWitch was the DJ on the Ellen DeGeneres Show before becoming co-executive producer in 2020, and was a So You Think You Can Dance all-star. Boss’ spouse Allison Holker Boss said, “Stephen lit up every room he stepped into. He valued family, friends and community above all else and leading with love and light was everything to him. He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans. To say he left a legacy would be an understatement, and his positive impact will continue to be felt.”

Suicide reporting guidelines for media save 139 Australian lives over five years Monash Online
December 15, 2022
A new study has found that Australia’s suicide reporting guidelines for media have averted 139 suicides on average over a five-year period. Dr Long Le, senior author of the study, said, “I think this really shows that these guidelines deliver huge value to Australian society, and should continue to play an important role in our national suicide prevention strategy. 139 lives saved across five years is an incredible achievement for the individuals and families involved, and to society more broadly.”

Lessons from Ecuador on responding to the mental health crisis in the U.S. and around the worldStat
December 13, 2022
Ecuador has a suicide rate lower than that of Canada and the US at 9 per 100,000, however, only 25% of the population has access to mental health services. The Ecuadoran Ministry of Health is looking to improve that access and were successful in their pilot project, reducing wait times from two months to two weeks. The project “aims to increase capacity of clinics to identify, diagnose, and treat people with mental illness” by using simple tools, and training psychologists and general practitioners in mental health. John Q. Young of Northwell Health, who worked on the project, says, “A country’s approaches to mental health problems can speak volumes about how it responds to one of the most fundamental human experiences: suffering. Ecuador is doing that with fresh ideas and few resources. Even with limited tools, it is showing the way to reshaping how mental illness is diagnosed, treated, and managed.”

How to Get More Men to Try TherapyNew York Times
December 9, 2022
In the US, nearly 80% of suicides are male, and particularly affected are men over the age of 75 and those working in industries such as mining, construction, and agriculture. Men are less likely to see help than women – in the US in 2020, 15% of men sought formal mental health supports compared to 26% of women. Arthur Evans Jr., chief executive of the American Psychological Association (APA), says, “There is clearly growing recognition that we have to reframe mental health care and our approach to addressing the mental health needs of men. Early indications are that when we do this, men are willing to engage in addressing their mental health challenges.” One example of this reframing would be to show therapy as an opportunity to become strong and well rather than as a treatment for mental illness. The APA released guidelines for psychological practice with boys and men in 2018.

Subscribe to the weekly news roundup