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:

Where can farmers turn to for mental health help?Alberta Primetime
July 14, 2017
Mara Grunau, executive director, spoke about why farmers and others working in the agricultural industry are at a high risk for suicide. In the US, those working in farming have a suicide rate of 85 per 100,000, while the general Canadian population has a rate of 11.5 per 100,000. Access to lethal means such as pesticides put farmers at an increased risk, as well as the macho-culture in which they work, which discourages help-seeking. What can be done about farmer suicide? Grunau says simply asking how the men in our lives are doing and really listening to them is important: “We don’t often ask men if they need help… there’s this unwritten rule that we expect a lot from men.”

5 Things we wish all nurses knew about suicide CARE magazine
Summer 2017
We want all nurses to know that anyone can be at risk of suicide, but more groups are affected than others, such as middle-aged men, seniors, LGBTQ youth and Indigenous youth. People at risk of suicide do show warning signs, and every attempt should be treated as though it is the first – the patient is seeking help because they do not want to die. If nurses are concerned that someone is considering suicide, they should ask directly, “Are you thinking of suicide?” and respond in a calm, non-judgmental manner. We also want nurses to know that anyone can help someone at risk of suicide!

Wapekeka First Nation calls for federal funding, local solutions to address suicide crisisGlobe and Mail
July 16, 2017
Wapekaka First Nation in northern Ontario has recently experienced the suicide deaths of 3 of their youth, and now they’re calling for the federal government, who provides $900,000 to the community annually for mental health and suicide prevention, to give them more freedom to make decisions on how to spend that money. Wapekeka was denied in its request for a suicide prevention team, and  individual mental health programs must be reapproved on a regular basis. Isadore Day, Ontario regional chief for the AFN says that giving the money directly to a First Nations health authority would “Cut the level of red tape, it will cut the level of cost expenditures going to a bureaucracy that knows nothing of our communities, and it will get the monies closer to the communities.”

St. Joe’s releases action plan to make patient suicide a ‘never event’ CBC
July 14, 2017
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton subscribed to the “Zero Suicide” goal, which means that they strive to have none of their patients die by suicide. In a recent review of suicide and suicide prevention policies, it was found that 9 suicide deaths happened in 2016. St. Joseph’s will update their practices around searching for and removing means of suicide in the hospital, standardizing the way patients are evaluated for suicide risk, holding focus groups to identify perceived gaps in care and reporting on their “lessons learned” to other hospitals across the province of Ontario.

A moment that changed me: listening to, rather than trying to fix, my suicidal wifeGuardian
July 14, 2017
In this editorial piece, Mark Lukach explains how he used to try to provide solutions to the issues his wife, who struggles with suicidal ideation, was facing. Then one day, too exhausted to provide solutions and even converse, Lukach found that his wife was able to really talk to him, and he was able to really listen. She was able to vent and feel better about her situation simply by having someone listen to her. Lukach says, “On that afternoon I finally learned that when any of us is in pain, the greatest gift you can give is to listen, patiently and purely.”

EU/Greece: Asylym seekers’ silent mental health crisisHuman Rights Watch
July 12, 2017
Refugees, and, as Human Rights Watch found, especially those currently in Greece, are at a high risk for trauma and other mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, and even self-harm and suicide. Research conducted between May and June of this year found that the “horrifying conditions” of refugee camps, the stress of the asylum seeking process, and the insecurity and uncertainty associated with asylum seeking all contribute to the poor mental health of refugees.

Globe editorial: Indigenous youths keep taking their own lives, and we keep looking awayGlobe and Mail
July 10, 2017
This editorial highlights the fact that Indigenous youth die by suicide all the time, and that suicide and self-inflicted injury are the two leading causes of death for Indigenous people under 45. “Most of all, we must treat this as an emergency, and act accordingly. There is no higher priority than the lives and safety of Canadian children. No one must be allowed to look away,” says the author.

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