What We Misunderstand About Suicide Among Black AmericansTIME
February 4, 2022
Following the suicide death of Cheslie Kryst, this article attempts to explain the complex factors that lead to suicide among Black people living in the US, while highlighting current research on the topic. Michelle Vance, co-author of a recent paper on suicide among Black women, said that the suicide of Cheslie Kryst, a high-profile, successful Black woman, brings the issue of suicide “to the limelight of the public… But these things are happening every single day in our communities.” Rheeda Walker, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology says, “She was a very high-functioning individual. So people assume. She doesn’t present like someone who is depressed and downtrodden. But two things come to mind for me: When we work with clinical patients, oftentimes the ones who are least depressed are the ones actually who give me the most pause…. The other thing is that people oftentimes don’t look like what they are going through.”

Suicide in Older Adults: Advances and the Role of Technology in Treatment
Psychiatric Times
February 4, 2022
Middle-aged and older adults have higher suicide rates than younger people, and older men in particular have high rates (in the US, males 75+ have a rate of 39.9 per 100,000 compared to the national average of 14.5). This article explores the issue of suicide in older adults as well as the potential of using smartphones and other technologies to deliver interventions to older adults who are considering suicide.

A beloved mayor’s suicide devastated his city and left an agonizing question: Why?Washington Post
February 3, 2022
**Method warning** Kevin Ward, Hyattsville, Maryland’s second Black and first openly gay mayor, died by suicide in January. This article tells the story of Ward’s legacy. “I know without a doubt that Kevin knew that he was loved. I also know that Kevin loved his people hard and deeply,” said Ward’s friend Candace Hollingsworth. “Despite not knowing any person’s reasons, or any why, my feeling is that it was a decision that he made not because he wanted to but because he felt he had to.”

Nunavut youth produce short film on suicide preventionNunatsiaq News
February 3, 2022
Four young Nunavummiut produced a short film about suicide prevention called Communication is key: A youth-led policy change project. The film was screened last week and focused on recommendations to the Government of Nunavut, namely, that they make greater use of their information sharing protocol to help public organizations work together to prevent suicide in communities. “We want youth to have a better future and more help,” said Blake DeMaio, one of the film’s producers. “I don’t want to be heard, I want action.”

Canada: Suicide rate in Arctic Quebec worsens compared to rest of provinceEye on the Arctic
February 2, 2022
According to the latest suicide statistics from the Institut de la santé publique du Québec, suicide rates in the Nunavik region have continued to increase compared to the rest of the province. The suicide rate in Nunavik is 177 per 100,000 compared to the 13.1 average of the rest of Quebec. 2021 and 2022 reports cite, “Difficulties in accessing specialized care and services, challenges in recruiting and retaining human resources, ongoing impacts of recent colonization, socio-economic difficulties, culturally and linguistically unadapted practices are some of the factors that may explain Nunavik’s rates…”

Cheslie Kryst’s Mom Breaks Silence After Daughter’s Death: ‘I Have Never Known a Pain as Deep as This’People
February 2, 2022
Cheslie Kryst, 30, died by suicide last week. Kryst was a social justice advocate, former attorney, Extra host and Miss USA 2019. Kryst’s mother, April Simpkins, said, “While (her suicide) may be hard to believe, it’s true. Cheslie led both a public and a private life. In her private life, she was dealing with high-functioning depression which she hid from everyone — including me, her closest confidant — until very shortly before her death. We miss her laugh, her words of wisdom, her sense of humor and mostly her hugs. We miss all of it — we miss all of her. She was a vital part of our family which makes this loss even more devastating,” adding, “​​If you or anyone else is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255.”
Related: Tamron Hall, Miss Universe & More Remember Cheslie Kryst After Her Death: ‘One of the Brightest’People
Cheslie Kryst Was Hiding ‘High-Functioning Depression’ — Here’s What That MeansExtra

The rising suicide rates among Black children under 13: A Different Cry11 Alive
February 1, 2022
The suicide rate for Black children under 13 in the US has been increasing for many years and is now two times higher than that of white children, and bullying and racism are contributing factors. The series A Different Cry explores the issue of suicide in Black children and speaks to families of those who have died.
Related – Local prevention agencies address rising suicide rates among Black childrenKGW 8

Toyota apologizes for suicide after overwork, harassmentWashington Post
February 1, 2022
Toyota has settled a lawsuit over the suicide of one of their employees. Overwork and harassment were cited as factors in the employee’s death, and in addition to apologizing to the employee’s family, Toyota has promised an investigation into the factors surrounding their death in an effort to prevent more deaths. In a statement, Toyota said, “We are now trying to create a more transparent workplace environment that makes it easier for people to speak up, as well as a management that’s free of power harassment, so that each and every employee can work without fear.”

Quebec teen girls hospitalized for suicidal behaviour rose in 2021: public health instituteGlobe and Mail
January 31, 2022
Institut national de santé publique du Québec has released a report finding that the number of girls 15 to 19 who were admitted to hospital emergency departments after attempting suicide was 23% higher in 2021 compared to 2020. Pascale Lévesque, an epidemiologist at the institute said that it’s possible adolescent girls are taken to the hospital more often by family members for suicidal behaviour, yet they have the lowest suicide rate in Quebec. For the general population, preliminary (not yet finalized) suicide numbers for 2020 show a slight decrease compared to 2019. Dr. Martin Gignac, chief of psychiatry at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, said the number of young people presenting to the emergency room for psychological distress has been rising steadily for the past 10 years, and has increased further during the pandemic. Gignac said, “It seems like the pandemic has had a major impact on psychological distress, especially among teenagers. I’ve seen teenagers having to go to a park, having to go walk outside while doing their psychotherapy session. I’m not sure it has the same value as going into an office and feeling safe and secure.”

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