Every day we scan news headlines and social media for items of interest to the field of suicide prevention. Here’s what we found in these past few weeks:

History of suicide attempt linked to shorter life expectancyMedscape 
December 28, 2017
Researchers in Sweden analyzed a database that spanned 40 years of information of 195,000 people over 18 who attempted suicide and had been hospitalized. They found that people who had attempted suicide at age 20 lived for 11 to 18 fewer years than those who hadn’t. A suicide attempt at age 50 lowered life expectancy by 8 to 10 years. “Excess mortality and reduction in life expectancy, explained by both increased risk of natural and unnatural causes of death, have been consistently reported among patients with mental disorders, compared to the general population,” the authors of the study wrote.

Inquiry into Lionel Desmond killings recommended to prevent more deaths, says medical examinerCBC
December 28, 2017
Dr. Matthew Bowes, Nova Scotia’s chief medical examiner, is recommending that an official inquiry be conducted into the suicide death of veteran Lionel Desmond, and the murders of his mother, Brenda Desmond, wife Shanna Desmond, and daughter Aaliyah Desmond. “It’s not like Mr. Desmond was unknown and this happened out of the blue — there was a trajectory,” said Bowes. “There was touch points in our system and I think it would be very valuable to look at how those things occurred and how we might, in retrospect, have done it differently.”
Related – Nova Scotia launches inquiry into veteran’s triple murder-suicideGlobe and Mail

Girls are facing a mental health crisis – and it’s not just because of InstagramGuardian
December 27, 2017
National Health Services in the UK released data earlier this year that found one quarter of girls in the UK exhibit depressive symptoms. Some suggested reasons for this include social media, body image and school pressures. This author suggests another reason: the prevalence of sexual violence, harassment and abuse that many women face, and the mental consequences of those experiences. 1 in 7 women in the UK have PTSD caused by sexual and physical violence and abuse.

Researchers to study school records for clues on suicide and self-harmGuardian
December 26, 2017
Researchers in the UK will be analyzing school data for 180,000 kids aged 10-17 in south London. Data includes school attendance and performance. The school data will then be linked to health and hospital records in an attempt to identify risk factors for suicide and self-harm. “As a teamwe are really optimistic we will have some good data and results which will have an impact and enable us to intervene, which is what we want to be able to do,” said Rina Dutta, lead researcher and senior clinical lecturer in the psychological medicine department at King’s College London.

What’s it like intervening with a suicidal person and saving their life?Metro UK
December 25, 2017
Samaritans, the British Transport Police, and some train operating companies in the UK have launched a new suicide prevention campaign, Small Talk Saves Lives, which encourages train travellers to intervene with someone they may be worried is thinking about suicide. The campaign aims to give the public tools to identify a person who is at risk and start a conversation with them.

The holiday-suicide myth and the intractability of popular falsehoodsThe Conversation
December 21, 2017
The media has long reported that more suicides occur during the holidays than at any other time of year – but this simply isn’t true. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US show that in 2016, November and December were the months with the fewest suicides.
Related – Blue Monday is a MythCentre for Suicide Prevention

Indian Head family grieves after suicide: ‘No parent should have to bury their child’Regina Leader-Post
December 21, 2017
Last March, Kye Ball, 16, died by suicide. His mother, Wanda Ball and father Chris opened up about Kye’s struggles, saying that mental health is “the forgotten part of the health-care system.” Kye struggled with mental illness starting at age 13, when he began self-harming, once to the point of needing 40 stitches. At 16, he was admitted into the adolescent psychiatric unit of a hospital and returned home in February. He died the next month.

One in four gay, lesbian, bisexual teens attempt suicideReuters
December 19, 2017
A US survey of close to 16,000 youth found that 25% of LGBQ teens had attempted suicide at least once in the previous year; this is in comparison to the 6% of heterosexual teens who said they attempted. LGBQ teens were also twice as likely to think about suicide or plan an attempt.

Lead singer of South Korean boyband SHINee dies – Guardian
December 18, 2017
Kim Jong-hyun, lead singer of the popular Korean boyband SHINee, died by suicide on December 18, 2017 at the age of 27. Kim’s death prompted fans to post messages encouraging help seeking, “Sending our deepest condolences to SHINee Jonghyun and those who (knew) him well. If you’re going through a hard time, please do know that you never walk alone. Talk to someone and take care of yourself,” said one tweet.

UK suicide rate shows largest drop for 20 yearsBBC 
December 18, 2017
The Office for National Statistics in the UK has released stats to show that there were 3.6% fewer suicides registered in 2016 than 2015, which is the largest decrease seen in 20 years. A spokeswoman from Samaritans, a UK suicide prevention organization, said of the stats: “There is still a lot of work to be done because suicide still kills three times more people than road traffic accidents.”
Related: Why have UK suicide rates fallen? The Week
Related: Suicide rate among young women doubles in a decade Independent
December 19, 2017
The UK suicide rate fell by 3.6% between 2016 and 2015, the biggest decrease in 20 years, however, women’s suicide rates have gone up to their highest point: 5.7 per 100,000. Men’s rates remain the highest, as they die three times more often than women.

‘Nobody’s going to help me’: Family looks for help after boy threatens suicideCBC
December 18, 2017
Two months ago in PEI, Jane and John’s son Evan, 11, expressed clear suicide ideation, telling his parents that he wanted to kill himself (false names used to protect Evan’s identity). Despite seeking help from a mental health walk-in clinic and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the family hasn’t had any institutional support and he hasn’t been assessed by a psychiatrist. Sean Morrison, program manager for children’s mental health and addictions at Health PEI, said in response, “When we peel back the layers, often we start finding out that it might be a thought that has occurred to them … but it doesn’t mean that they took it to the next phase of actually starting to plan that out.”

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