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:

Experts not surprised by suicide stats Regina Leader-Post
Dec. 19, 2016
CSP Trainer Donna Bowyer was interviewed for this piece in the Regina Leader-Post, which highlighted a survey done by the Saskatchewan Alliance for Youth and Community Well-Being (SAYCW). The SAYCW study of 8,800 Grade 7 – 12 students across the province found that more than 50% had considered and attempted suicide last year. Bowyer says this is not a surprise, as Saskatchewan currently has the highest suicide rate of the provinces. “We need that prevention in place, we need training in the community that works with youths,” Bowyer said.

Opinion – Canada 150: A year of celebration, a year for mental healthGlobe and Mail
Jan. 2, 2016
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation is introducing a new project this year which celebrates “150 Canadians across the country making a difference in mental health.” Throughout the year, CAMH will introduce 150 different Canadians and their journey to recovery in mental health.

Single dads rate their physical and mental health low CBC
Dec. 26, 2016
A study from the University of Toronto has found that the “stress and strain” that single fathers experience is the same as that of single mothers. It was found that single fathers are also twice as likely to report poor mental and physical health compared to fathers with partners. Maria Chiu, lead author of the study, said “We know that, in general, men are more reluctant to seek health services, especially mental health, because of the stigmas attached… We need to pay attention to the physical health and mental health of single dads in the same way we do with single moms.”

Freeman: Time for a national commission on Indigenous youth mental healthOttawa Citizen 
Dec. 26, 2016
Samuel Freeman, a resident in pediatrics at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, writes that much more needs to be done in order to improve the mental health of Indigenous children and youth. He believes a National Commission on Indigenous Youth Mental Health would give the federal government the opportunity to bring together community leaders, researchers, practitioners and policy professionals to develop a strategy for addressing the issue. “We need to develop suicide prevention programs that work, promote holistic initiatives to improve child mental and physical health, and train Indigenous youth to become the teachers, social workers, nurses and doctors of the future,” says Freeman.

Ottawa urges provinces to accept offer for more mental-health funding Globe and Mail
Dec. 21, 2016
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging provinces and territories to accept mental health care funding from the federal government. After rejecting an offer by the federal government that would give them $25 billion over the next five years to health care, with a large portion dedicated to mental health and home care, the provinces and territories are being approached for individual deals by the government.

The city that wants to stamp out suicide BBC
Dec. 21, 2016
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, a mental health centre in Liverpool, UK, has adopted the Zero Suicide approach, one that provides suicide prevention training to employees, easy access to counselling for those patients with self-harm injuries, and most importantly, the establishment of the fundamental belief that suicide is preventable and therefore, a suicide rate of zero is theoretically achievable. Mersey Care made the commitment to bring its patient suicide rate to zero in 2015, when it lost 30 patients to suicide. The Zero Suicide movement is gaining traction across the world, after being adopted at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan in 2001. Within four years of its implementation, the Health System decreased patient suicides by 75%, and since 2008 has not lost a single patient to suicide. In Canada, the St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation in London, Ontario has adopted the same approach.

Suicides actually go down during the holidaysVox
Dec. 20, 2016
This article debunks the myth that suicides rise during the holidays, and indicates that in fact the overall American suicide rate trend is fairly consistent throughout the year, and actually dips slightly in December and January. For more on this myth and the actual facts, check out our blog post Are suicide rates higher at Christmastime?

New resource advises how to prevent, respond to trainee suicideAmerican Medical Association
Dec. 20, 2016
A new initiative seeks to prevent suicide in physicians and physicians in training in the US by changing “how residents and fellows talk to each other about the stressors of medical training.” Resources of the initiative include a video, webinar, and toolkit. This initiative is a collaboration of the American Medical Association, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Mayo Clinic.

20 messages for suicide loss survivors during the holidaysThe Mighty
Dec. 20, 2016
This post from mental health blog The Mighty emphasizes that everyone’s grief journey is different, and gives advice from suicide loss survivors on how to get through the holidays.

Deconstructing stigma: Confronting the reality of suicides in the South Asian cultureHuffington Post Blog
Dec. 20, 2016
This guest blogger, Dimple Patel, shares her experience with stigma after losing her mother to suicide. She explains not being able to face others in her culture for fear of judgement, and not wanting to tell people how her mother died. When she did open up about the reason for her mothers death, Patel experienced the judgement and stigma that she had feared, but now, she’s looking to raise awareness of mental health in the South Asian community, so people like her mother don’t need to feel stigmatized when seeking help, and survivors of suicide loss can open up to others.

Neighbors treating neighbors for depression and alcoholismNPR
Dec. 15, 2016
The Sangrath Group based in Goa, India, is looking to make access to mental health care easier by using community care. There are only 3 psychiatrists for every million people in India, compared to 124 per million in the United States. The Sangrath Group is proposing to use “lay counselors” to help provide mental health care – “people who come from the community and have at least a 10th grade education but have never had mental health training. They go through a three-week workshop taught by mental health professionals where they learn how to talk to people with depression or alcoholism or other problems, and how to give those people tasks that will refocus their minds.”

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