As more teens talk about self-harm, here’s how to help, say expertsFast Company
January 14, 2022
Data from parental control app ‘Bark’ shows that, among the young people whose devices use the app in the US, suicide ideation has increased. Bark’s 2021 annual report found that 75% of teens are engaging in self-harm or suicidal ideation based on how their devices were used (sending texts, emails, etc.), an increase of 25% compared to 2020. Dr. Jessi Gold, assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis says, “…Having [a suicidal thought] … is more of an indication that help is needed and support is needed and conversations are needed… There’s this belief that if you talk about suicide, that you’re going to implant the idea on someone and then they’re going to want to kill themselves and all the data on that is false. If you talk about suicide with your kids, you’re actually helping them, because you’re becoming a person they can talk to about these things.”

U.S. Suicide Hotline 988 Is Set to Go Live, but Many States May Not Be Ready
January 14, 2022
Within 6 months in the US, the national suicide prevention line (lifeline) will be available to call or text using a three-digit number, 988, however, so far only four states have passed implementation laws that include fee increases to pay for the expected rise in calls to the line. States have known that they need to increase fees to support the line since late 2020. There are also few states with resources, such as mobile crisis teams, to respond to calls for help throughout the state. Statewide crisis services are only available in six states currently. “In some places, you’re probably in good shape,” said Hannah Wesolowski, a spokesperson for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “You could call 988 and there are going to be mobile crisis teams and a pretty robust crisis infrastructure. But in other places, good luck.” Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor Margarita Alegria said, “Inequities state to state cost lives and could lead to needless deaths, particularly for people of color who disproportionately have no good service alternatives during these crises.”

Commentary: My daughter was a gay Catholic who died by suicide. Here’s how the church must protect LGBTQ+ Catholics.National Catholic Reporter
January 13, 2022
Alana Chen died by suicide in 2019, and in this commentary article mother Joyce Calvo talks about Chen’s experience with the Catholic church after coming out as gay, including being told to conceal and suppress her sexual orientation by priests, nuns, and other church representatives, and having undergone what was essentially conversion therapy over the course of eight years, all unbeknownst to her parents. Calvo says, “Alana’s story shows us how much deep, difficult work the Catholic Church needs to do to learn how to love its LGBTQ+ members so that no parent is robbed of their children and no child is robbed of their God-given uniqueness. The church must stop rejecting LGBTQ+ children.”

Princess Martha Louise Was in a ‘Pit of Depression’ Following Ex-Husband’s Death by SuicidePeople
January 13, 2022
Princess Martha Louise of Norway opened up about coping with the death of ex-husband Ari Behn, who died by suicide in late 2019. Princess Martha Louise says, “It is like having tunnel vision because it does cover everything. You can get stuck in that sorrow and you can go into a pit of depression, which I did, and you can get out of it as well.”

Opinion: My wife had long Covid and killed herself. We must help others who are sufferingGuardian
January 12, 2022
Screenwriter Heidi Ferrer died by suicide in May 2021 after experiencing long COVID for over a year. In this opinion piece, Nick Güthe, Ferrer’s husband, discusses Ferrer’s experiences with long COVID including symptoms such as chronic and excruciating pain, and brain fog that “robbed her of her ability to retain information.” Güthe says, “Suicide is not like death from natural causes or even a ghastly accident. It is planned and its psychological shrapnel wounds for generations. None of us – not me, my son, Heidi’s family and friends – will ever be the same.”

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