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:

Editorial: Does Canada need a national suicide prevention strategy?Centre for Suicide Prevention
Dec. 5, 2016
This editorial outlines the importance of a national strategy for suicide prevention, how it could be implemented, and why a framework is not enough.

‘A common loss’: Friends and family of suicide victims attend vigil in St. JohnsCBC
Dec. 11, 2016
An event in St. Johns, Newfoundland honoured those who have died by suicide on Dec. 11. “People had accomplishments, they celebrated great things, they contributed in their workplaces, in the community, and it’s just really important that we honour the things that they did in life too, and not just focus on the fact that they died by suicide,” said Kim Kelly, who lost her brother to suicide.

TTC, Metrolinx confronting taboo of talking about suicideToronto Star
Dec. 9, 2016
The Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) executive director of communications, Brad Ross, has taken an honest approach to communicating with passengers about when a suicide attempt causes a delay. “When questioned by frustrated passengers on Twitter about a 90-minute subway service suspension on Line 2, Ross responded, ‘somebody has taken their life. We’re doing all we can under the circumstances.'”

White Mountain Apache Tribe decreases suicide deaths and attemptsSuicide Prevention Resource Centre
Dec. 9, 2016
The Fort Apache Indian Reservation in the US has seen their suicide rate drop by almost 40% from 40 per 100,000 to 24.7. The suicide rate dropped at a time when the general population rate rose, as did that of other reservations. The reservation implemented a “suicide surveillance and prevention program” that tracked suicidal behaviours and risk factors and was used to identify and offer services to members at-risk based on reports of suicide ideation, attempts, self-injury, and substance abuse. A youth suicide prevention program developed by SAMHSA was also used.

‘We can’t abandon them’: Senators urge more language, mental health supports for Syrian refugeesCBC
Dec. 6, 2016
A new report has been released by the Senate’s committee on human rights entitled “Finding Refuge in Canada: A Syrian Resettlement Story.” The report makes several recommendations on how Canada might better help refugees adjust to living in Canada. One of the recommendations was to improve “culturally appropriate mental health programs.”

Study: More than a quarter of medical students are depressed, suicidal CNN
Dec. 6, 2016
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association of 47 countries has found that more than 25% of medical students report symptoms of depression, and 1 in 10 have had suicidal thoughts.
Related: Doctors have alarmingly high rates of depression. One reason: medical school Vox

Psychologist says northern Sask. suicides result of colonization, not mental illnessCBC 
Dec. 5, 2016
Dr. Darien Thira, psychologist, was the keynote speaker for a Community Medicine gathering in Price Albert, Saskatchewan last week. Teachers, students, and health workers were in attendance at the gathering, which addressed the heightened number of suicides and suicide attempts in northern Saskatchewan. “Suicide is a fairly natural but terrible response to colonization,” said Thira. “The approach that I’m coming in with is to challenge the idea that suicide is a mental health issue, because it’s not a mental health issue.”

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