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:

The silent epidemic of America’s problem with gunsBBC
February 6, 2020
*Method warning* According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, suicide rates in the US are rising, and in 2016, 45,000 people in the US died by suicide. Suicide is complex and there are a number of factors that contribute to the risk that someone may think about and die by suicide. Among the common factors for suicide in the US is access to firearms: two thirds of gun deaths are suicides. “Too many people think that if you want to take your own life you will, and the means don’t matter. But a gun in the home increases the chance of suicide probably threefold,” said David Hemenway, the director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (HICRC). “If you were to ask what’s the one thing we really know from suicide research in the US, that would be it.”

‘People are dying’: Intra-family violence a silent problem in Calgary’s newcomer communitiesCBC
February 5, 2020
Saima Jamal, co-founder of the Calgary Immigrant Support Society, is bringing attention to the issue of intra-family violence in immigrant households in Calgary as it is a “big problem and nobody’s talking about it.” Not only is violence happening between spouses but also between parents and children and between siblings. Jamal says that issues in the home can be detrimental for children, and sometimes children and youth think about suicide to escape the fighting. “There are so many intense issues I’ve seen in the last few months it makes me wonder why aren’t we talking about these issues more openly in our community? People are realizing that it is causing deaths in the family. People are dying because of this issue,” said Jamal. 

Suicide attempts higher in teens, young adults with diabetes: studyCTV
February 4, 2020
A new study published by researchers in Quebec has found that young people ages 15 to 25 in the province who have type 1 diabetes, one of the most common childhood chronic illnesses, are three times more likely to attempt suicide and 1.5 times more likely to have a mood disorder. “We are talking mood disorders like depression or anxiety disorders, which can affect their management of the disease. The fact that they are more at risk of having mental health disorders also puts them more at risk of having complications and hospitalizations related to diabetes,” said Dr. Meranda Nakhla, one of the senior authors of the study.

Australia launches inquiry into veteran suicide ratesReuters
February 4, 2020
Australia will hold an inquiry into military veteran suicides and will appoint a permanent commissioner to head the inquiry. Individual veteran suicides, ‘suspected’ suicides, and attempted suicides will be examined, and recommendations will be made so that suicide can be prevented and mental health and well being can be improved in this population. “Too many young Australians have taken their own lives, and we need concerted actions in all of these areas to ensure that we’re doing everything we possibly can to prevent this,” said Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison. 

Suicide prevention awareness week begins in QuebecRadio Canada International
February 3, 2020
Last week was Suicide prevention awareness week in Quebec, an initiative organized by the Association for Suicide Prevention in Quebec (AQPS), “It’s important because it allows us for one week to really put an emphasis on the prevention of suicide,” said Jérôme Gaudreault, the general director of the AQPS. “We have to talk about it, we have to put what we’re living into words.” AQPS also launched their campaign “Talking about suicide saves lives” last week.

Death and dying: how Indigenous communities grieve, survive and thriveCBC Unreserved
January 30, 2020
CBC’s Unreserved explored grief, death and dying in Indigenous communities, and how communities can heal after loss, including suicide loss. The below links feature different components of the piece. 
Colonization has shaped how Indigenous communities grieveCBC Unreserved
January 31, 2020
Jeffrey Ansloos, assistant professor at the University of Toronto discusses how Indigenous communities have been affected by colonization, including missionary movements and residential schools, which directly affected the way Indigenous people saw death. Following that, some communities began to experience suicide and homicide deaths:  “In the big picture, we need our federal government, in collaboration with provincial, municipal, territorial and First Nations governments to really begin to think about suicide prevention in a completely different way, one that is not entirely preoccupied with crisis response. [They need to] really make good on the commitment to really do justice by Indigenous people, by ensuring that their conditions for living are, at the very minimum, equal to that of other Canadians,” said Ansloos.
Where some see Indigenous communities in crisis, We Matter sees hopeCBC Unreserved
January 31, 2020
We Matter is an organization providing resources and supports to Indigenous communities across Canada, focusing on coping strategies and uplifting messages of hope coming from Indigenous youth and adults. Frances Elizabeth Moore, the operations and national outreach manager for We Matter says, “When discussing Indigenous youth suicide, the majority of the articles are framed with this tone that everything is just so dire. But there are ways that we can go about doing this that don’t actually contribute to the issue, but instead uplifts those that are experiencing the crisis.”

Subscribe to this weekly mailing list