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Finding Comfort and Meaning After a Child’s SuicideWedMD
February 16, 2023
In this article, Janet Shedd and other parents who have lost children to suicide talk about their experiences. Shedd lost son, Tom, 18, to suicide seven years ago. Shedd says the loss was “devastating because, as a parent, one of your major functions is to keep your child safe. When you’re not able to do that – usually through no fault of your own – you go through a lot of guilt.” Following the death of a child by suicide, it’s important bereaved family members get the support they need. Angela Wiese who lost son Mason, 19, to suicide says she experienced difficulty finding support for her and her son Ethan. She advises parents to, “find professionals and support systems that deal specifically with suicide bereavement.” Shedd says, “My advice to other parents is to know you’re not alone. One of the best things I did was to hook up with someone else who had gone through the experience of losing a child to suicide, which was a touchstone during the early days,” she says. “Having someone to talk to who had been through it and was standing upright and functioning in the world was incredibly helpful to me.”

Stress, Loneliness, & Overcommitment Predict Lawyer Suicide RiskForbes
February 15, 2023
A 2016 American study of more than 13,000 lawyers found that 28% experienced depression, 19% experienced anxiety, 21% had alcohol use issues, and 11% drug use issues. New research has found that high levels of stress, work over-commitment, loneliness, and being male are associated with an increased likelihood that a lawyer will consider suicide. The risk of suicide ideation was 22 times more likely for lawyers with high levels of stress, 2.8 times more likely for those who were screened as being lonely, and 2.2 times more likely for those with high work over-commitment. Men were two times more likely to have reported suicidal thoughts than women. According to this article, there are six core causes of chronic stress in the legal profession, all of which need to be managed: unmanageable workload; lack of recognition; lack of community; unfairness; values disconnect; and lack of autonomy. Creating healthier workloads for those in the legal profession is one way to help prevent suicide. This article recommends several ideas for decreasing workload: increasing effecting teaming practices (where back-ups are available for meaningful time off); being clear about priorities and deadlines; proactively sharing information; making sure document and template locations are known and easily accessible. Belonging, to decrease loneliness, can be cultivated by: giving positive feedback; asking people how they’re doing; offering encouragement; and scheduling in time for discussing non-work-related topics.

Bullying: How It Can Lead to Mental Distress, Suicide in ChildrenHealthline
February 15, 2023
A recent study has found that bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity, or bullying by making sexual comments, is consistently correlated with depression, mental distress, and attempted suicide in young people. “We also know that 50 percent of LBGTQ+ students have seriously considered suicide versus 14 percent of heterosexual students, so this is a vulnerable population,” said Jon Mattleman, New England Clinical Director for Minding Your Mind. Bullying based on religion was not found to increase hopelessness or sadness. “Regarding bullying around religion, it’s worth considering that a victim of this may have greater and easier supports to access than a person who is bullied for gender or sexual orientation. For example, a youth bullied for religion can turn to parents, siblings, other family, their faith community, for support, whereas those same resources may be sources of conflict or additional rejection for a youth bullied for gender or sexual identity.”

How to Tell if Someone Is at Risk for SuicideNew York Times
February 14, 2023
Following the release of the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest suicide data, this article discusses the warning signs of suicide and how to support someone you’re worried about. Primary indicators that a person may be thinking about suicide include any marked change in behaviour. According to Doreen Marshall of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, “things that would seem kind of unusual or uncharacteristic of the way the person typically acts.” M. David Rudd from the University of Memphis notes, “The warning signs can occur in isolation for any number of reasons, but when you see any of those warning signs coupled with the expression of ‘life is not worth living,’ ‘I’m thinking about killing myself’ or ‘I feel hopeless about the future,’ it elevates risk meaningfully.” Rudd says that if you’ve noticed a change in behaviour, reach out to them: “It’s actually very small things that make a difference. Just engaging with somebody and overcoming that barrier of stigma and fear is really the most critical challenge.”

After Teen’s Suicide, a New Jersey Community Grapples With BullyingNew York Times
February 13, 2023
Adriana Kuch, 14, recently died by suicide following an incident of bullying at her school. Kuch was assaulted, and a video of the assault was posted on Tiktok the same day it happened. Kuch died later that day. Prior to her death, Kuch told her father Michael Kuch,  “I don’t want to be that girl who gets beat up on video and made fun of.”  Since her death, father Michael has been speaking out about how her bullying was mishandled by the school district, students have been protesting in front of her school, the superintendent of her district has resigned and four girls have been criminally charged in connection with the assault. “Bullying is a violent act, and the person who is bullied is victimized,” said Dr. Jeanne Craft, past president of New Jersey’s chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Some children…  need help (to respond). And if they don’t get help, it can have devastating consequences, including suicide.”

Alberta family loses son to suicide while he waited for mental health careGlobal News
February 9, 2023
Ken Gibennus, 50, died by suicide recently and now Gibennus’ parents Bob and Peggy are speaking out about his mental health care leading up to his death. “The last few years have been really hell for him,” Bob said. “I asked him: ‘Do you think about suicide?’ He said: ‘All the time.’” Gibennus saw a psychiatrist for his ongoing depression and anxiety. When his psychiatrist “ran out of medications to prescribe” it was recommended that Gibennus see a psychologist. He was told he’d have to wait until April for the next appointment. Shortly after he was told about the wait time, Gibennus died by suicide. According to the Calgary executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Sara Jordan, the wait time for mental health care in Alberta’s public system is anywhere from six months to two years. “Fifty-four per cent of Albertans last year weren’t able to get the help they need because they couldn’t afford it, because it’s not free and not universal. Someone needs to pay or wait it out. We can do better,” Jordan said.

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