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:

Suicide risk is higher not only for military, but also their families, new research showsToronto Star
December 10, 2021
New Canadian research has found that not only are veterans more likely to die by suicide than those in the general population, but their families are, too. Lead researcher Heidi Cramm says, “We don’t know very much about the Canadian military family experience around suicidality. In international literature, we see that families have been noted to have significantly increased risk of suicidality themselves.” Factors contributing to family member suicide risk include: stressful demands of military life, hearing about a suicide in the community, and losing a family member to suicide. Cramm says, “We have to look at post-traumatic stress disorder as family issues, we have to look at suicide as a family issue.” Fardous Hosseiny, vice-president of research and policy for the Centre of Excellence added, “We’ve heard quite a lot from family members that, ‘We’re happy to support our veterans their needs, but what about our own mental health struggles?’ ”

Breaking the Trend: New CDC Data on Suicide Psychiatric Times
December 9, 2021
In this interview transcript, Christine Yu Moutier, MD, chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, talks about the 3% decline in suicide deaths in the US between 2019 and 2020. This is the second year in a row that suicide rates have declined. Yu Moutier says, “This break in the rising trend for the overall rate is good news, and there is reason to believe that scaling up effective suicide prevention efforts in community and clinical settings can have a powerful preventive impact. However, even though the total number of US suicide deaths decreased by 3% overall, those declines in rate were not the case for minoritized young adults during 2020. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact, accentuating preexisting health and socioeconomic disparities within certain demographic groups, including young males as well as American Indian, Alaska Native, Black, and Latinx communities.”

Where the Despairing Log On, and Learn Ways to DieNew York Times
December 9, 2021
**Method and content warning** This article chronicles the stories of four young people, Matthew van Antwerpen, 17, Roberta Barbos, 22, Shawn Shatto, 25, and Daniel Dal Canto, 16, who died by suicide shortly after joining the same website, a site that encourages suicide. The site has tens of thousands of users and public forums and private messaging. Through an investigation, New York Times found that 45 of the site’s members have died by suicide, though there are likely more.  Dr. Daniel Reidenberg, a psychologist and the executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education says, “There’s no question that this site, the way they created it, operate it and allow it to continue, is extremely dangerous.”

Saskatchewan First Nation says it’s dealing with suicide crisis brought on by pandemicGlobe and Mail
December 6, 2021
Devin Bernatchez, a councillor for Lac La Ronge Indian Band in northern Saskatchewan said that the community is facing a suicide crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bernatchez says, “It has a ripple effect. You have suicide attempts too, and I’ve seen it from my own family. My own family, they’re losing hope.” He’s visited the legislature to call on the Saskatchewan Party government to take action to work with the community to provide resources including counsellors. The community has organized programming for young people and set up support groups. Bernatchez says, “Suicides have increased. Addictions have increased. We’ve seen it in our communities, and we want to have a spirit of partnership. Come into our reserves, come into our communities. Don’t be scared to come on the rez, we invite you. Come see it for yourself and see how we can help people out.” Minister of Rural and Remote Health Everett Hindley has recently committed to visiting the community but no date has been set.
Related: Sask. minister to travel to northern community Sucker River amid suicide crisisCTV News

Acceptance significantly reduces suicide risk for intersex youths, report findsNBC News
December 6, 2021
LGBTQ young people who are also intersex have a higher rate of suicide compared to those who are not intersex, however, acceptance is shown to significantly reduce suicide risk. The Trevor Project has released a report exploring mental health and well being among intersex LGBTQ young people and found that 19% of young people surveyed said they attempted suicide in the past year, compared to 14% of LGBTQ young people who were not intersex. Intersex young people who had at least one parent who was accepting of their gender identities were 55% less likely to have had a recent suicide attempt. Myeshia Price, senior research scientist at the Trevor Project, said, “I think it’s important to understand that intersex youth are so much more than their bodies. By understanding them as individuals and as people we believe that this report gives more attention to things that may be more important to them than the sort of medicalized approach to looking at who they are.”

Waka Flocka gives mental health tips to Black men for the holidaysRolling Out
December 5, 2021
Rapper Waka Flocka Flame is an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention, particularly among Black men. He lost his younger brother, Kayo Redd, to suicide in 2013, and has since founded the No Reckless Internet Posting Foundation to decrease online bullying and become an advocate. Flame shared some mental health tips for Black men this holiday season, including to see failure as a win: “It’s okay to grow up. It’s okay to make a mistake because failure and mistakes, technically, are learning experiences. You learn more [from losing] than you did when you actually won. It’s a reason that you didn’t win how you wanted to win because you had to fail to learn more. The moral of the story, man, you gonna grow from everything you’re going through.”

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