Hello Friends,

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: 

Regina police educating entire force on mental healthRegina Leader-Post
Feb. 15, 2016
Regina Police Service will use the “Road to Mental Readiness” program, developed by MHCC and the Department of National Defence, to train hundreds of their employees in mental health this year. 

Project love explores impact of love on mental healthCBC 
Feb. 14, 2016
Project Love, a campaign coming out of Montreal, hopes to promote positive social connection in an attempt to offset the feelings of loneliness and social isolation. They took the opportunity this past Valentine’s Day to spread their message, targeting a day that can sometimes arouse these negative emotions. 

NDP MP pushing for committee hearings on ‘suicide crisis’ and residential school settlement agreementAPTN
Feb. 12, 2016
MP Charlie Angus, the lone NDP member of the Aboriginal affairs parliamentary committee, filed two notices of motions, one requesting that a hearing be held with the committee in regards to the suicide crisis facing First Nations. He calls for the committee to “study the crisis in youth suicide facing First Nations, Inuit and Metis on and off reserve” and would like the MPs to travel to communities impacted by suicide in order to learn more. 

Cree RCAF member left suicidal after years of racist abuse in the militaryCBC
Feb. 11, 2016
A member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Master Cpl. Frenette describes being racially abused by members of his unit because of his Cree heritage. The racist remarks became so bad that Frenette became suicidal. He has decided to leave the military altogether. 

First Nations students suffering from PTSD, school nurse tells inquest CBC
Feb. 10, 2016
A high school nurse who testified at an inquest into the death of 7 First Nations students in Thunder Bay has said that many students who leave their communities to go to school experience PTSD. The nurse believes that the PTSD symptoms are related to “25 years of a suicide crisis that never got addressed” in northern Ontario’s First Nations communities, and that this generation of youth is raised “in a subculture of suicide.”

Suicide post-vention – how to help those left behindCBC
Feb. 10, 2016
A forum in Sudbury on Feb. 11 took a close look at suicide postvention, and how postvention can be prevention. Rita O’Link, a transgender woman, speaks in this very moving interview about friends she has lost to suicide, and how the experience of suicide bereavement has made her consider suicide herself. 

Economic downturn impacting mental health, study saysCBC
Feb. 9, 2016
The Calgary Counselling Centre has done a study that shows there are increasing levels of distress in Calgary, and that this change can be directly linked to the economic downturn. The Centre received 915 requests for service in the month of January, which is the most it has ever had in its 53 years. 
Related – Calgary Counselling Centre busier than ever – 660 News

The design of work needs to change to prevent mental illnessThe Conversation
Feb. 9, 2016
Employers often see mental health as something their employees bring to work with them, but this is not entirely true. This article argues that more can be done in the workplace besides simply planning ‘awareness days’ and this extends to ‘work and organizational design’ which refers to a deeper change in workplace culture. This change includes increasing work autonomy, clarifying roles, and improving supervision and workplace relationships. 

Concussion significantly raises long-term risk of suicide, study suggestsCTV News
Feb. 8, 2016
A study by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto found that adults who experience a concussion have a long-term suicide risk 3 times higher than the general population. 
Related – Concussion raises long-term suicide riskCBC

Small doses of opioids could prevent suicidePopular Science
Feb. 8, 2016
A new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that opioids, with their ability to numb physical and emotional senses, could be used to decrease risk of suicide. 

Ontario is right to ease path to help for first responders: Editorial Toronto Star
Feb. 8, 2016
This editorial is a response to Ontario’s labour minister Kevin Flynn’s announcement that Ontario will make it easier for first responders to receive treatment for PTSD.

‘I felt him leave’: Ottawa firefighter’s PTSD battle began with a child dying in his armsNational Post
Feb. 8, 2016
This feature article about PTSD describes on firefighter’s struggle with PTSD, and the event that precipitated the disorder. First Responder Brandon Hogan believes he was traumatized when a child died in his arms. Hogan exhibited several tell-tale signs for PTSD, including a major change in behaviour, and especially, self-destructive behaviour. 

Syrian family experiences highs and lows starting at new Calgary schoolsMetro
Feb. 8, 2016
This article brings to light yet another factor that could impact the mental health of Syrian refugees: bullying. 

New research on postpartum depression could change the way we talk about the “baby blues”Quartz
Feb. 8, 2016
A new study has found that mood instability, especially related to women’s self-esteem, can help predict postpartum depression. 

Opening up about depressionNew York Times
Feb. 8, 2016
A journalist talks about his depression openly for the first time, noting the prevalence (6 million men in the US suffer from depression) and the importance of speaking out about it. 

Oil downturn weighs heavily on kids’ mental health, says expertCBC
Jan. 27, 2016
This article offers tips from Yellow Kite Child Psychology in Calgary about how to discuss the economic downturn with a child. 

Subscribe to this weekly mailing list