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:

Researchers to shed light on high Prairie suicide ratesWinnipeg Free Press
February 23, 2019
A team of researchers from Brandon University and the University of Manitoba are studying suicide in the prairie provinces, focusing in on shifting demographics. “We have a smaller number of farmers than in the past. We have a growing Indigenous population; we have a growing newcomer population,” said project lead Rachel Herron. “So those kinds of trends aren’t necessarily reflected in our understanding of rural mental health. Rural men are a different group than they have been in the past.”

A doctor’s quest to understand why so many physicians die by suicideCBC
February 22, 2019
After experiencing the loss of ten fellow physicians by suicide, Dr. Pamela Wible started collecting and telling the stories of doctors who have died. Wible herself has experienced thoughts of suicide after becoming disillusioned with the profession, and feeling more like a “seven-minute physician” rather than a caregiver. “On-the-job mental health support should be available 24/7 for people who are witnessing death and suffering all day long,” Wible said.

Brody Stevens’ death at 48 generates comedy world mourning: ‘Everybody loved Brody’USA Today
February 22, 2019
Brody Stevens was an accomplished actor and comedian. This past week, at the age of 48, he died by suicide. Fellow comedians are mourning his death, and encouraging others who are struggling to get help. Comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted: “If you are depressed or feeling suicidal please please please please please reach out to ANYONE. I never get to see Brody Stevens again I can’t stand this. #RIPBrodyStevens.”

Amidst A Rising Tide of Suicide, Tech Offers New Ways of PreventionForbes
February 21, 2019
This article profiles the company HarrisLogic, which has been working to find solutions in technology for mental health issues since the 1990s. HarrisLogic has a crisis response platform called StellaCrisis, which is a screening and triage tool, and provides guidance to those who answer crisis calls and other front line workers. 

Burberry sorry for ‘suicide’ hoodie with noose around neckBBC 
February 20, 2019
*Method and image warning* Liz Kennedy, a Burberry model, criticized the brand for featuring a hoodie with a noose as drawstrings as part of its London Fashion Week show. “Suicide is not fashion,” posted Kennedy on Instagram. She also said she felt  “extremely triggered” after seeing the design and felt “as though I was right back where I was when I was going through an experience with suicide in my family.” Kennedy was a model in the show the item appeared in, but did not wear it. Marco Gobbetti, head of Burberry, said, “We will reflect on this, learn from it and put in place all necessary actions to ensure it does not happen again.”

Pacemaker for the brain: An inside look at an experimental PTSD treatmentGlobe and Mail
February 19, 2019
Researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto are looking into an alternative treatment for patients with PTSD who don’t respond to standard drug and psychotherapy treatment. This alternative treatment involves implanting a pacemaker-like device into the brain to promote deep brain stimulation, with the goal to regulate the limbic circuit which involves multiple areas of the brain linked to PTSD symptoms. The first patient trials were launched this month. Using deep brain stimulation, “if you can home in on a specific structure that you know has been implicated [in PTSD], you can potentially involve the entire circuit,” said principal investigator Dr. Nir Lipsman, a neurosurgeon and scientist at Sunnybrook.

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