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:

‘I couldn’t believe it’: University of Alberta evicted student after attempt to kill himselfCBC
January 29, 2019
In 2016, a University of Alberta student who struggled with suicidality was evicted from student residence after two suicide attempts. Centre for Suicide Prevention executive director Mara Grunau commented that mental illness commonly arises during late adolescence, and that, “What we typically see with students is the pressure they feel to achieve,” Grunau said. “It can also be pressure from living away from home for the first time.” The University of Alberta has since made a statement regarding the incident and a public apology to the student.
Disponible en français

After-hours youth crisis program aims to help Tsuut’ina youthCBC
February 2, 2019
The Tsuut’ina Healthy Living Program has developed a new program, Youth Crisis Support, that reaches out to educate youth living in Tsuut’ina who struggle with substance abuse, mental health issues, suicidal thoughts, and family violence. “We found the Healthy Living Program was focusing on adults, although we work with youth as well,” said Yolanda YoungPine-Crowchild, the Tsuut’ina Healthy Living Program Director. The program has two after-hours youth crisis workers who work four days a week, and will develop a plan with youth who come to visit them. The program also runs a 24/7 crisis line.

Suicide-risk screening might cut deaths among incarcerated youthReuters
January 31, 2019
A new study from the US has found that youth who are incarcerated have an increased risk of suicide and are most likely to die by suicide within the first seven days of their incarceration. Study authors suggest that suicide prevention efforts focused towards incarcerated youth should include suicide risk assessment screenings and safety planning.

The Crisis Text Line analyzed 75 million text messages to find the best way to ask if someone is suicidalMashable
January 30, 2019
Crisis Text Line is a non-profit that answers crisis text messages, and they’ve just released new data that suggests that, if a person expresses that they care for the person on the other end of the text message, they’re more likely to reduce that person’s suicidal feelings. One example of an effective message was, “Sometimes when people go through a breakup, they may have thoughts of ending their life. I want to check in, have you had any of these thoughts?” or, “With all of your sadness about the breakup, I just want to check in about your safety. Have you had any thoughts about death or dying?” This is in contrast to bluntly asking, “Are you feeling suicidal?”

Someone to listen: How Kids Help Phone counsellors aid teens with gut-wrenching problemsGlobe and Mail
January 30, 2019
This article features the Kids Help Phone, which will celebrate its 30th year in 2019. Kids Help Phone now accepts crisis phone calls, live chats, and text messages. Youth call about any number of things, including breakups, losing a loved one, and thoughts of suicide.

In the dark: The cost of Canada’s data deficitGlobe and Mail
January 26, 2019
Canadian death records provide very little data, leaving out basic information like ethnicity. This makes collecting all kinds of useful data difficult, including data on so-called “deaths of despair”, drug overdoses, alcohol poisioning and suicide. 

Subscribe to this weekly mailing list