Gender-Affirming Meds Have Drastic Impact on Suicide Risk in Trans Youth MedPage Today
February 25, 2022
A new study of 104 transgender and non-binary (TNB) youth 13 to 20 years old has found that those who initiated puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones had “60% lower odds of moderate to severe depression and 73% lower odds of suicidality.” Researchers said, “Our findings have important policy implications, suggesting that the recent wave of legislation restricting access to gender-affirming care may have significant negative outcomes in the well-being of TNB youths. Beyond the need to address antitransgender legislation, there is an additional need for medical systems and insurance providers to decrease barriers and expand access to gender-affirming care.” This study was released following the order by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to investigate instances of sex-change procedures in children, claiming that they constitute child abuse. A commentary by lead researchers Brett Dolotina and Jack L. Turban added, “Other proposed legislation likely to negatively impact the mental health of TGD [transgender and gender-diverse] youth includes bills that would prohibit their ability to use public facilities that match their gender identity and those that would prohibit their participation in sports teams that match their gender identity.”

Judy Collins Says Joan Rivers Helped ‘Pull [Her] Up’ After Her Son Died by Suicide at 33People
February 25, 2022
Singer-songwriter Judy Collins lost her son Clark, 33, to suicide in 1992. In a recent interview, Collins talks about her grief journey and how Joan Rivers, who lost her husband to suicide, called Collins after her son’s death to offer support. “I was going to cancel all my shows and put my career on hold, and she said, ‘You can’t stop working, because if you stop, you’ll never get out the other side.’ [Healing] is about therapy — and having people who can pull you up,” said Collins. She also talks about the important role therapy has played throughout  her life and in helping her to heal from her own suicide attempt. “Starting therapy at 23 was essential to me. I had to talk about the alcoholism, and I had to talk about the depression and the suicide attempt.” Of her music, Collins says, “You have to be somehow in a place that you can trust yourself and the rest of the world. It takes courage, and I wanted this to be my story.”

Suicides Went Down in 2020, but Pandemic Concerns RemainUS News and World Report
February 24, 2022
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US released a report last Thursday with data to show that the US suicide rate declined for the second year in a row in 2020. The rate decreased by 3% compared to 2019 to 13.5 deaths per 100,000. Women’s suicides dropped by 8% while men’s suicides dropped by 2%. Researchers also noted that despite the two-year trend, suicide rates are still up 30% from 2000. “As the nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term effects on isolation, stress, economic insecurity, and worsening substance use, mental health, and well-being, prevention is critical,” says the report. “Suicide is preventable. A comprehensive approach to suicide prevention is urgently needed in all states to continue to build on the progress that began in 2019.”

Kyrgios writes about ‘suicidal thoughts,’ depressionGlobe and Mail
February 24, 2022
Nick Kyrgios, 26, a pro tennis player who recently won the Australian Open men’s doubles title, opened up on his Instagram account about experiencing depression, thoughts of suicide, and struggling with substance use. Kyrgios wrote, “I was having suicidal thoughts and was literally struggling to get out of bed, let alone play in front of millions. I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family & friends. I felt as if I couldn’t talk or trust anyone. This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive.” To those who are struggling with their mental health, Kyrgios said, “I know that day to day life can seem extremely exhausting, impossible at times. I understand that you feel if you open up it may make you feel weak, or scared. I’m telling you right now, it’s OK, you are not alone. I’ve been through those times when it seemed as if those positive energetic vibes were never ever going to be reality. Please, don’t feel as if you are alone, if you feel as if you can’t talk to anyone, I’m here, reach out… This life is beautiful.”

‘It feels like yesterday’: Family of Lexi Daken reflect on teen’s suicide one year later CTV
February 23, 2022
Lexi Daken, 16, died by suicide on February 24, 2021. Daken went to the emergency department because she was experiencing thoughts of suicide and waited hours to speak with a physician, who asked Daken if she thought she could “keep herself safe at home,” otherwise, they’d call a psychiatrist to speak with her. Daken was discharged after saying that she thought she could keep herself safe, and less than a week later, she died by suicide. Daken’s parents have since advocated for changes to the system, and father Chris Daken says, “We still get emails and messages and texts from people. You know, when a parent says to you, ‘I don’t think my daughter would be alive if it wasn’t for Lexi,’ you know, I guess, then what we’ve been fighting for is worth it.” Since then, the Government of New Brunswick has worked to address the gaps in their system, specifically psychiatrist wait times. Horizon Health provided an update on Wednesday of how that work is going.

A Staggering Increase in Suicide Among Black YouthPsychology Today
February 19, 2022
**Language warning: Use of the word ‘commit’** Recently, in the US, the attorney general reported an increase in mental distress and suicide among youth during the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, youth were struggling. In 2019, 1 in 6 young people reported making a suicide plan, up 44% from 2009. Black youth saw an 80% increase over the same time period and Black children are almost two times more likely to die by suicide than white children for the first time in recent history. Eric M. Brown, author of the article, outlines some actions we can take to prevent suicide among Black children and youth. Brown suggests intentionally building relationships with young people in our communities and being willing to ask directly about suicide. “The pandemic has been devastating for the Black community in so many ways, and we are seeing that our children and adolescents may be taking it the hardest. Loving and affirming our youth is critical to the future of our people,” says Brown.

Jack Ritchie death: gambling addiction began as teenager, inquest hears Guardian
February 21, 2022
A UK inquest into the suicide death of Jack Ritchie, 24, has explored the role of gambling in Ritchie’s death. Coroner David Urpeth said that the inquest would look into, among other things, “whether gambling caused or contributed to (Ritchie’s) death.” Ritchie’s parents Charles and Liz Ritchie have become advocates for the reform of gambling legislation in the UK. They believe an undiagnosed gambling disorder contributed to their son’s death, and argue that the government failed their son as he was using “products licensed by the state.”
Related: Jack Ritchie: Link between gambling and suicides – inquest hearsBBC

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