Weekly News Roundup Jan 28 – Feb 3, 2023
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Federal government moves to delay MAID for people suffering solely from mental illness – CBC News
February 3, 2023
Legislation has been introduced by the Liberal government to delay the expansion of the MAID law, which concerns those suffering solely from a mental illness. The delay is for one year. Originally, Bill C-7 (an amendment to the MAiD legislation), which passed in Parliament in March 2021, would allow for mental illness eligibility to take effect in March 2023. Justice Minister David Lametti feels a need for more time to “get this right.” The delay “will allow ongoing studies of the risks of extending MAID to this group of people to be completed,” he said.
Manx suicide prevention strategy due in March, minister confirms – BBC News
February 2, 2023
A long-term strategy to prevent suicides on the Isle of Man should be ready next month according to cabinet office minister, Kate Lord-Brennan. She said the delay in its development can be attributed to the pandemic and a need for the strategy to include “accountable actions.” Statistics show that there were 156 suicides or deaths of “undetermined intent” on the island between 2006 and 2021. There was a numerical high of 22 deaths in 2020.
Jury makes 12 recommendations after inquest into Vancouver police officer’s suicide – Toronto Star
February 1, 2023
A coroner’s jury for the inquest into Vancouver police officer Const. Nicole Chan’s suicide has delivered a dozen recommendations. Before her death, Chan had reported Sgt. David Van Patten for sexual assault. New Westminster Police investigated the charges against Van Patten but declined to pursue charges. The jury recommendations include: “police ensure that the attending doctor has direct communications with paramedics, police officers and/or friends and family members in attendance;” “mandatory psychological clinical interviews should be part of every potential police officer’s recruitment process whereby the psychologist’s recommendations are considered;” “annual psychological check-ins with a psychologist should be mandatory for all police officers;” “ensure respectful workplace training is mandatory, rigorous, in-person and on a regular basis for all ranks of police officers,” among others.
Taboos and therapists who don’t understand: Mental health struggles more complicated for BIPOC youth – CBC News
February 1, 2023
When some Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) youth find themselves in need of mental health assistance they often do not know where to find services. The COVID-19 pandemic only worsened this situation. Many BIPOC youth come from cultures that have taboos on matters like mental health. This is one barrier but many also discover a mental health system that is not culturally responsive to their needs. These hurdles can manifest in what is known as “minority stress,” which stems from societal discrimination based on race, religion, gender and other aspects. Social worker and psychotherapist Bruno Jung-Millen, who specializes in racial minority stress and trauma, says “We saw, at my practice, BIPOC youth and their families… reaching out and saying ‘We are isolated. We need someone who understands how we feel, without having to explain over and over… we just need someone who can relate to our struggles.'” He says that a mental health approach is needed that is “rooted in cultural awareness, humility and BIPOC lived experience” so that the youth feels “understood and validated.” Jung-Millen believes more attention needs to be paid to BIPOC mental health issues.
Black college students who turn to their faith think less about suicide – The Conversation
January 31, 2023
Janelle Goodwill, professor of social work at the University of Chicago, writes about her research on the mental health of Black college students. In a 2022 study she sought to examine the relationship between depression and suicidal ideation among these students. The study found that Black students were 1.48 times more likely than white students to attempt suicide in the previous 12 months. But they also discovered that those who turned to their faith to cope with stress had less suicidal ideation.
Managers have major impact on mental health: How to lead for wellbeing – Forbes
January 30, 2023
Tracey Bower, a doctor of sociology and author of The secrets to happiness at work, writes in this Forbes piece that, for 70% of employed people, their manager at work has more of an effect on their mental health than their therapist or their doctor. Bower offers recommendations for workplace leaders to ensure that they are doing their best to have positive effects on their employees. These include themes such as: mange yourself; recognize your impact; connect people; give people a reason to care; and others.
Barbara Stanley, influential suicide researcher, dies at 73 – New York Times
January 29, 2023
Barbara Stanley, a psychologist and researcher, and co-developer of the Safety Plan Intervention (SPI), has died at 73 of ovarian cancer. The SPI is “deceptively simple” but has been extremely influential in the suicide prevention community since its introduction in the late 2000s. The plan asks “patients struggling with suicidal urges to compose a written plan that lists coping strategies, as well as sources of support or distraction that could help them weather a suicidal crisis.” It has been shown to be effective in practice. A 2018 study of veterans utilizing safety plans with follow—up phone calls found a 45% reduction in suicidal behaviours.