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: 

are doctors plagued by depression and suicide? A crisis comes into focus
July 21, 2016
Annually, approximately 3 entire medical school classes die by suicide in the
US – that’s 300 to 400 every single year. In a study of 6 medical schools, 1 in
4 students reported having depression, and 7% said they had very recently
thought of killing themselves. This may be due to the extreme stress put on
students in medical school, where competition and lack of sleep are prevalent.
This extreme stress continues with practicing doctors, who are “immersed
in human suffering,” as well as high expectations such as long work hours
and perfection. The culture of medicine doesn’t help either – Dr. Pamela Wible,
a family doctor who has experienced depression, said that doctors become
“masters of disguise” when it comes to hiding their emotions. 
Related – It’s
time to recognize and prevent the tragedy of physician suicide
July 21, 2016

of Ontario adolescents report ‘psychological distress,’ survey finds
Globe and Mail
July 21, 2016
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health  (CAMH) conducted a survey that
found the number of youth experiencing mental health concerns has jumped 24% in
two years. Over 10,000 students are surveyed from 220 different schools every 2
years by CAMH – the longest-running school youth study in Canada. Dr. Mann,
senior scientist at CAMH says that life is more complicated for youth than it
used to be, and that students tend to be quite stressed about life in general.
Fortunately, this increase in psychological distress also meant an increase in
youth seeking mental health help.

police unveil ‘very important’ mental health shift
July 21, 2016
Vancouver police have released a new mental health policy with the aim to save
lives. It is now recommended that officers de-escalate or avoid confrontations
with people in mental distress. The policy says that “when a member
determines that police engagement… will result in undue safety concerns for
the individual… it may be acceptable to not engage… at all.” Officers
are expected to involve mental health professionals when dealing with those in
mental distress, and to attend ongoing conflict de-escalation training. 

suicides prompt look at men’s roles in a changing world
The Province
July 20, 2016
Middle-aged men have the highest number of suicides than any other population –
they are three times more likely to die by suicide than women. Rob Whitley of
McGill University believes that a shift in the way society thinks about the
roles of men is necessary to create a change and reduce the number of suicides.
Whitley suggests that many men are finding the current shift in gender roles
difficult – “Something about society and the
environment in Canada is affecting these men. … There is a background
vulnerability when a man becomes a failed breadwinner or his son is taken away
during a custody battle. It can be a time when suicide rates go higher.“

for suicide risk among urban children vitally important
Science Daily
July 20, 2016
A key recommendation coming out of a study done by Washington University was
that all children exhibiting self-harm or mood disorder symptoms who are seen
by a psychiatrist should be assessed for suicide risk. Sean Joe, lead author of
the study noted: "Regardless of ethnic group
membership, urban children expressing intentions to self-harm or exhibiting
mood disorder symptoms should be examined for the potential to suicide. Such
clinical consideration is a sharp departure from conventional practice

is suicide on the rise in women – and what can we do about it?
Refinery 29
July 19, 2016
Men die by suicide three times more often than women, but the rate for women
aged 45-64 has been growing faster than any other demographic in the US. The Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention have reported
a 63% increase in the
numbers of women dying by suicide between 1999 and 2014. This article posits
that the rise can perhaps be attributed to the fact that antidepressants are
becoming stigmatized in the sense that some believe that they are more likely
to cause suicidality than treat it. Further, society’s trend toward clean
living has contributed to this stigma, according to the article. On the other
hand, the article suggests that the over-prescription of potentially fatal
painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin have given women more access
to lethal means – especially considering that self-poisoning is the most common
method of suicide attempt for women.

with OCD are 10 times more likely to commit suicide
Science Daily
July 19, 2016
The Karolinska
Institute has released a new study
that has found that patients with
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have a much higher chance of dying by
suicide than the general population. People with OCD have a 10 times higher
risk than normal, when previously it was thought that the risk of suicide was
relatively low in those with OCD. OCD is one of the most common psychiatric
disorders, affecting 2% of the population.

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