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:

Facebook’s suicide prevention tool sparks concern Global
February 11, 2019
Facebook’s suicide prevention algorithm reads user’s posts and flags them for content that may indicate suicidality, at which point people read the posts to assess that user’s risk for suicide. If it is determined that the situation is urgent, emergency services are called.  “As they’re approaching suicidal crisis, people will put out invitations, and it might be through messaging,” said Mara Grunau, Executive Director of the Centre for Suicide Prevention.

Canada Needs a National Suicide Prevention PlanCentre for Suicide Prevention
February 11, 2019
In this response to MP Ron Liepert’s speech in support of a national suicide prevention strategy  in the House of Commons on Feb. 4, 2019, we commend MP Liepert and agree that a national suicide prevention strategy is vital.

How domestic violence affects women’s mental healthThe Conversation Australia
February 18, 2019
Women who have experienced domestic violence or abuse are at a higher risk of experiencing mental health issues and conditions, including PTSD and depression. They’re also at a higher risk for suicide ideation. 

Sometimes, You Won’t Feel Better TomorrowSlate
February 15, 2019
This article delves into the nature of suicide, and whether or not suicide can be rational. It points out that not everyone who is thinking of suicide has a mental illness, and argues that people can be rationally thinking about suicide, however, there are always reasons to live. “Indeed, for so many of us—especially us rationalists—it is this shared appreciation of the fundamental meaninglessness of life, of the funny tangibles of chaos, of being momentarily alive as the fleeting, flawed creatures we are that, ironically, offers us the greatest hope against suicide. What other choice do we have? Sometimes, we have to embrace the absurdity of living to survive our own sanity,” says the author, Jesse Bering.

Ottawa Hospital’s emergency psych units ‘softened’ after suicide Ottawa Citizen
February 15, 2019
The Ottawa Hospital has changed the look of its emergency psychiatric unit after receiving feedback from patients and their families. Dr. Mark Kaluzienski, the deputy chief of psychiatry at the hospital, said the renovations have made the unit “lighter and brighter.” Ellen Parent, who gave feedback on the unit in which her son Ryan Parent, who died by suicide, stayed, said, “I feel blessed that future patients will experience a more compassionate and a more pleasing environment.”

Three teen suicides in the last eight months have ‘devastated’ this rural Midwest villageWashington Post
February 13, 2019
A small village, Kingsley, Michigan, with a population of 1,600, has experienced three suicides in just 8 months, all of teenagers. “Everyone was devastated,” said Keith Smith, the superintendent of Kingsley Area Schools. “This is a small community, and not only do we all know each other, we all know each others’ kids.” Since the deaths, the community school has partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and is planning to incorporate suicide awareness into its curriculum for students, and to host awareness events for parents.  

How Trauma Impacts Your BodyTeen Vogue 
February 12, 2019
Untreated trauma, such as a sexual assault, can impact your physical health as well as your mental health. That’s why it’s important to seek help once trauma has been experienced, and healthy relationships can help us cope. “Even if it’s just one person — even if it’s a coach, or a counselor, or an aunt or uncle or grandparent or teacher — whoever that person is that you can really trust, who can be a source of a really healthy relationship for you, especially in the teenage years, is so critical,” said Nadine Burke Harris, pediatrician and director of the Center for Youth Wellness.
Find out more about trauma and its connection to suicide with our Trauma and suicide toolkit

Edmonton to get $226M children’s mental health centre, province says CBC
February 11, 2019
The government of Alberta has partnered with the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation to fund the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre in Edmonton. Construction is slated to start in spring 2021. The Centre will include child and adolescent crisis services, over 100 inpatient beds, outpatient clinics, a mobile response team, and more. “I actually think this is going to be something that has an indelible mark on [issues] like crime and homelessness and poverty, because so much of that is systemic to mental health,” said Mike House, president and CEO of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Helping children is a really big deal.”

Everywhere and nowhere: A journey through suicideNew Yorker
February 11, 2019
*Method warning* In this piece, Donald Antrim describes his experience of suicidal thoughts, and his long struggle with his suicidality before checking himself into treatment.

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