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:

Kathy Griffin Details Pill Addiction, Reveals She Attempted Suicide in 2020 Us Weekly
August 2, 2021
**Content warning: Suicide method, planning** Comedian Kathy Griffin is opening up about her suicide attempt less than two years ago, following a career slump and substance addiction. Griffin says the slump caused her to feel as though she had no purpose in life, “I  felt like if I can’t make others laugh, then there’s no purpose for me to live.” Griffin says husband Randy Bick supported her in getting help. She was placed on a psychiatric hold and upon her release, began working with medical professionals to detox. Griffin has been sober for a year. She says, “I am so thrilled and grateful. I feel like, at 60, I’m gonna get a next chapter. That’s the thing everyone said wasn’t gonna happen. I believed [it] wasn’t gonna happen.”

‘Rugrats,’ ‘Wild Thornberrys’ exec tackles animated series on teen suicide, mental healthUSA Today
July 29, 2021
Animation executive Terry Thoren, who is behind successful kids’ shows Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys, is starting a new animated series about suicide awareness and prevention for teens. The series, titled, ‘My Life is Worth Living,’ is a collaboration with the Cook Center for Human Connection and Wonder Media.Thoren says, “We use animated stories with characters that teenagers can connect to to take really complicated ideas and issues and make them easy to talk about, because we believe that our stories aren’t the end of the conversation. Animation is also a powerful tool in conveying these messages because  animation knows no race, no religion, no culture, no creed … (just as) suicide knows no race, religion, gender or creed, so animation is the perfect connector to begin the conversation.”

The Vessel attraction in N.Y.C. closes again after another suicideNBC
July 29, 2021
New York City structure The Vessel was closed after a number of suicides took place there. Experts were consulted on what could be done to prevent future suicides. Barriers were one suggested prevention method, as they are known to be efficacious, however, other measures were taken. People were not allowed to visit the structure alone and structure staff were trained to recognize people behaving in a way that may indicate they were in distress. The structure is closed once again following another suicide, and developers are considering closing the structure permanently.

Using AI to predict suicidal behaviours in studentsMcGill Newsroom
July 28, 2021
A new study has been released from researchers at McGill University, University of Montreal, Inserm, and Université de Bordeaux, who are using AI to predict suicidal behaviour in students. “Many known factors can contribute to the increased risk in university students, such as the transition from high school to college, psychosocial stress, academic pressures, and adapting to a new environment. These are risks that have also been exacerbated by the health crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, although there is no clear evidence of an increase in suicide rates during the pandemic,” says study co-author Massimiliano Orri. “This research opens up the possibility of large-scale screening by identifying students at risk of suicide using short, simple questionnaires, in order to refer them to appropriate care,” explains senior author Christophe Tzourio.

How to Cope with Suicidal Thoughts Like ‘I Want to Die’PsychCentral
July 27, 2021
This article provides advice for people who are thinking about suicide. Calling a crisis line “can make a big difference,” because, “As scary as it can seem, opening up about what you’re going through can often yield some relief.” They also note that, “not everybody gets what they need the first time they call a crisis hotline. Different hotlines offer different benefits, so you might try a few different ones before finding the support you need.” Focusing on the moment and asking, “What can I do to get through the next minute? The next five minutes?” is another recommendation for finding relief from thoughts of suicide. Simply distracting oneself from thoughts of suicide are another suggestion – doing a hobby, taking a walk, or listening to music can help provide relief, too. People who are thinking about suicide can also create a safety plan, a guide that can help them manage thoughts of suicide when they come up. Finding reasons to live, connecting with loved ones, and going to a safe space such as a library or restaurant are all additional suggestions for finding relief. Finally, reaching out for emergency care via 911 or a local emergency department may be necessary if a person feels they are not safe and at imminent risk of suicide.

More Children Are Dying By Suicide Recently, Study Shows – NPR
July 27, 2021
A new study explores child suicide in the US, which increased by almost 15% from 2012 to 2017. Children who think about suicide share some common characteristics: “Many kids had prior suicidal thoughts and behaviors. There were childhood traumas, neglect, abuse or death in the family, difficult family circumstances like divorce, custody battles, parental substance abuse. Plus there were problems at school.”

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