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:


Job-related deaths in Canada dramatically under-reported: studyCBC
January 11, 2019

New research has been released to suggest that the number of deaths directly related to the workplace are underreported, as only WCB claims that are accepted for compensation are included in the data, whereas unclaimed or unresolved claims are not. This pertains to suicide deaths as well. But Mara Grunau, executive director of the Centre for Suicide Prevention, cautions that attributing a suicide directly to workplace stress is difficult, as there are “many contributing factors” that can lead a person to consider suicide, and “the research would not bear out one big, bad thing that is going to absolutely cause somebody to die by suicide.”  However, the workplace does have a huge impact on our lives. “In our culture, we spend hours and hours at work. And the way we feel about work, and the way we interact with the people at work, affects who we are. If work is a miserable place to be, it affects other aspects of our life,” said Grunau.

Blue Whale: What is the truth behind an online ‘suicide challenge’?BBC
January 13, 2019
The “Blue Whale Challenge” is an online game that has been associated with several youth suicides around the world, but very little is known about it. This article asks whether or not the Blue Whale Challenge even exists.

Dying for helpCBC Docs
January 12, 2019
This documentary explores suicide in men, the group most at risk, and what can be done to help them.

Sarah Hyland Says She Would ‘Write’ Mental Suicidal Letters to Loved Ones Amid Chronic Heath BattlePeople
January 11, 2019
Sarah Hyland, 28, known for her role on the TV show Modern Family, opened up on the Ellen DeGeneres Show about having thoughts of suicide when she was suffering from depression and chronic pain caused by health issues. “I was very, very, very close (to attempting suicide). I would write letters in my head to loved ones — of why I did it, my reasoning behind it, how it’s nobody’s fault,” explained Hyland. “At the time, I was 26, and after 26, 27 years of always being sick and being in chronic pain every single day and you don’t know when you’re going to have the next good day, it’s really, really hard.”

Traditional Masculinity Can Hurt Boys, Say New A.P.A. Guidelines New York Times
January 10, 2019
The American Psychological Association (APA) has released new guidelines for psychologists who work with males. This is the first set of guidelines released by APA for working with men; previous guidelines included those for working with ethnic and linguistic minorities and females. The 10 guidelines acknowledge that men who are socialized in accordance with “traditional masculinity ideology” experience negative psychological effects. “We see that men have higher suicide rates, men have more cardiovascular disease and men are lonelier as they get older,” said Fredric Rabinowitz, one of the lead writers and a professor of psychology at the University of Redlands. “We’re trying to help men by expanding their emotional repertoire, not trying to take away the strengths that men have.”

Military reports 15 suicides in 2018 despite new prevention strategyCBC
January 9, 2019
15 members of the Canadian Armed Forces died by suicide in 2018, marking the fourth year in a row that the number of military suicide in Canada has declined since increasing in 2013. In 2017, National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada released a suicide prevention strategy that promised the improvement of services and support available to current members and veterans. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said, “Every time we lose a member of our Canadian Armed Forces to suicide, it is felt by us all. One suicide is too many. While there is no simple solution or easy answer, we will continue to evolve and improve the strategy as we expand our understanding of suicide and mental health and move forward on implementing solutions.”

Childhood abuse increases risk of adult suicide, finds researchGuardian
January 9, 2019
In the UK, new research has found that people who experienced sexual, physical, or emotional abuse in childhood are two to three times more likely to die by suicide as adults. “All types of childhood abuse are associated with increased risk for suicide attempts and suicidal ideation in adults independent of demographic, clinical and methodological variations across the studies,” said the research paper.

How to Help if Someone on Social Media Expresses Suicidal ThoughtsOut
January 8, 2019
CupcakKe the Rapper posted on Twitter last Monday night that she was thinking about killing herself. The tweet was met with a strong reaction from her fans and fellow musicians. CupcakKe was hospitalized and has now been released, but following this Out magazine asks: How can you help someone who expresses suicidal thoughts on social media? Some suggestions given include: reaching out in a private message, text message, with a phone call, or face-to-face, and actively listening to the person who posted the message. If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.

Suicide Risk Rises After Cancer DiagnosisWebMD
January 7, 2019
New research has found that some newly diagnosed cancer patients think about suicide. “Our study highlights the fact that for some patients with cancer, their mortality will not be a direct result of the cancer itself, but rather because of the stress of dealing with it, culminating in suicide,” said study co-leader Dr. Hesham Hamoda, of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “This finding challenges us all to ensure that psychosocial support services are integrated early in cancer care.”

Understanding Links among Opioid Use, Overdose, and SuicideNew England Journal of Medicine
January 3, 2019
Deaths caused by opioid overdoses and suicide are contributing to the declining life expectancy rate in the US, and new research in the New England Journal of Medicine is looking at factors that may link opioid use and suicide.

What lies beneath the surface New York Times
December 28, 2018
Dr. Mikkael Sekeres recounts his experience with patients who have been diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening illness. Sekeres notes that the diagnoses causes many patients to reflect on their lives, including past traumas. In this editorial, Sekeres talks about a patient who, after being successfully treated for leukemia, attempted suicide.