Weekly News Roundup July 16 – 22, 2022
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Mistrust lingers in Black communities amid 988 launch – AP
July 21, 2022
Sitaniel Wimbley, director of the Mississippi chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, says that there is a mistrust of the mental health system in the Black community. Wimbley saw the way police treated her mother, who had chronic bipolar schizophrenia – first putting her in jail, then bringing her to a state hospital where she would be detained without explanation or information about when she would be allowed to leave. “These are the stories that have been passed down,” Wimbley said. “That’s what hinders us.” Sirry Alang, a professor of sociology and health at Lehigh University explains the reason only one in three African-Americans who need mental health care receive it: “It’s not because people don’t want to use mental health services. It is because they’re using mental health services in the context of incarceration and police brutality.” John Palmieri, a senior medical advisor at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration official says that dealing with distrust of the medical establishment, under which the new 3-digit crisis line in the US may be seen to fall under, “Is a critical question… The suicide rate trends are alarming for Black youth. SAMHSA is committed to working with trusted partners in the Black community to address inequity in access to mental health care services.”
‘The deepest silences’: what lies behind the Arctic’s Indigenous suicide crisis – Guardian
July 21, 2022
This article, written by anthropologist and film-maker Hugh Brody explores the issue of suicide among Inuit from his perspective.
6 Ways to Address Mental Health in the Construction Industry – For Construction Pros
July 20, 2022
Among the major industries, in the US, construction has the second highest rate of suicide. Employers have a role to play in preventing suicide among their employees, including by: ‘starting the conversation from the top down,’ an approach that encourages leaders to speak ‘openly and often about mental health.’ It’s also important for leaders to model healthy behaviours, prioritizing self-care and setting boundaries with work. Leaders can also ask specific questions about how they can support their team members on an individual level, creating an open dialogue and safe space to share thoughts and concerns. Employers should offer mental health resources to employees for free, and provide resource to employees, especially leaders and managers, about how to recognize the signs that someone may be struggling so they can offer support.
Gender-Affirming Care Improves Mental Health—and May Save Lives – Wired
July 19, 2022
This article explores the complexities of collecting evidence-based suicide prevention research for the transgender population, focusing in on gender-affirming care. One study of 4 young people in Missouri found significant decreases in suicidality after three or more months of hormone treatment, while a Finnish study of 42 young people found similar results. Studying gender-affirming care alone in exploring how to reduce suicide among transgender people has its limitations, though, as trans people who receive gender-affirming care often likely also have parental support and good mental health as well. “The best approach is not for everyone to do the same thing, but for different researchers to examine it from different angles and really have that accumulation of evidence,” says Amy Green, lead author of a Trevor Project study about transgender suicide prevention. “That makes the research stronger than any one of those studies could ever do.” The effects of anti-trans legislation being passed in many US state legislatures is also discussed: Sebastian Barr, a psychologist and researcher who works primarily with the trans community, says of young trans people, “These young people know that they’re being talked about, and know that people are misunderstanding them, that there are even really hateful factions talking about them. What a burden for a young person to carry.”
I’ve Lost 2 Husbands To Suicide. Here’s What Living Through The Unimaginable Taught Me. – HuffPost
July 19, 2022
Marci Glidden Savage discusses her grief journey after losing two of her spouses to suicide. Following the death of her first husband, Paul, Glidden Savage says, “The emotional fallout is impossible to describe to someone who has never experienced this loss. I felt like I was free-falling into an abyss of unwanted and unknown despair. Sadness, loneliness and disbelief were overwhelming.” After second husband Michael’s suicide, Glidden Savage blamed herself, wondering, “How could I be so blind…?” but also, “How much is one person expected to overcome?” Through her grief journey, Glidden Savage says, “I chose to live. I mustered the courage, stamina and determination to heal following two life-shattering losses. I sought therapy and made healing my No. 1 priority. I made mistakes, and I took four or five steps back for every step forward. But I always kept moving forward and believing I could and would be OK.”
Mental health experts say Canada needs a 3-digit suicide crisis hotline – CBC
July 17, 2022
The US launched their 3-digit suicide hotline earlier this month, and there is increasing pressure in Canada for 3-digit access to the crisis line, 1-833-456-4566. The House of Commons unanimously voted in favour of establishing a 3-digit suicide prevention line but implementation has been delayed in the CRTC’s public consultation process. Their evaluation of how the number could be introduced is expected later this year. MP Todd Doherty introduced the motion to implement a 3-digit hotline system back in 2020 and says, “Despite receiving the support of grassroots and national mental health organizations, municipalities from across the country and the unanimous support of parliamentarians, this life-saving initiative remains unavailable to Canadians and its status continues to be unknown.” Dr. Allison Crawford, the chief medical officer for Talk Suicide Canada said, “There are huge mental health needs in our communities, and that’s only grown over the last number of years. I see this as one important access point into a mental health service that I think needs renewal.”
Debunking myths about suicide helps encourage compassion and understanding – CNN
July 16, 2022
This article presents common myths and facts about suicide, including that ‘Everyone who attempts suicide has a mental health condition,’ which is a myth, according to senior director of the Newport Healthcare Center for Research and Innovation Michael Roeske. Roeske says, “A lot of people don’t necessarily fit criteria for a mental health disorder, but in very stressful situations, they lose an important job, they find out about an infidelity with a long-term marital partner, and they go, ‘Oh, my gosh. I don’t know how I’m going to go forward living.'” ‘Improved mood means the risk of suicide is gone,’ is another debunked myth. According to the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health’s Office of Suicide Prevention, “The apparent lifting of the problems could mean the person has made a firm decision to die by suicide and feels better because of this decision.” Other debunked myths include ‘Talking about it will lead to or encourage suicide,’ and ‘You can’t stop someone from attempting suicide.’