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Prince George man awarded for bringing mental health program to workPrince George Citizen
July 23, 2023
Mark Wilson brought the Buddy Up Campaign to his workplace, Finning Canada, in early 2022. Buddy Up is a men’s suicide prevention campaign. Wilson says, “It was Christmas 2021 and I had just got back to work after my weeks off, and my youngest daughter said that we haven’t spent much time together and that kind of really hit me hard. I thought if I am having trouble at Christmas right now, I’m pretty sure that some of my guys are too, some of my crew. So, I sent it out in an email and said if you are struggling right now you might want to look into this Buddy Up program. It just took off from there.” Wilson says that Buddy Up “opened a whole conversation within the group. It was really cool to see actually.”

‘A hidden epidemic’: Gun suicides reached an all-time high in the US in 2022USA Today
July 27, 2023
**Method warning** In the US, there are more Black young people dying by suicide by firearm than white young people for the first time on record. Firearms (homicide and suicide) remain the leading cause of death for children and teens. Ari Davis, a policy advisor at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Many thought the spike in gun deaths from 2019 to 2020 was going to be a one-year outlier related to COVID-19, political instability and racial justice protests. Now, with two more years of elevated gun death rates, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we are dealing with a more persistent and obstinate problem.” In 2021, the firearm suicide rate rose 8% which is the highest one-year increase in 40 years. “We know trauma, isolation and economic hardship are all risk factors for suicide,” Davis said. “The increase in gun ownership over the last few years may also play a role.”

Government’s suicide prevention helpline underprepared for increased care demand, CMHA says
CTV News
July 25, 2023
3-digit access to Canada’s national suicide crisis line (1-833-456-4566) will be available November 30, 2023. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has expressed concerns that community-based mental health services could see a significant increase in service users, but it is unclear how much funding they will receive to bolster services. The Government of Canada announced $156 million over three years for mental healthcare, with $21.4 million of those funds going to Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and research centre, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Sarah Kennell, CMHA’s national director of public policy, says, “We’re taking a step back and asking if the funding is really sufficient. Is this funding enough to ensure that not only are those lines adequately resourced to ensure they pick up the phone when it rings in those local communities, but then do those community-based mental health organizations have the resources to effectively and adequately refer folks who need additional referrals and support to other services and communities?”

Impact Of The 988 Suicide And Crisis Lifeline: One Year Later Forbes
July 25, 2023
This article discusses the successes and challenges of the American 3-digit crisis line (988), one year following its implementation. Successes include  a 40% increase in people seeking help, and a decrease in wait times for people from 3 minutes to less than one minute. Challenges include a 91% answer rate (with the required answer rate being 90%), and lack of awareness – only 13% of American adults have heard of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Bob Gebbia, CEO of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says, “It’s reasonable to expect that call, text and chat volume to 988 could double in the second year. To address this, we’re continuing to advocate for additional federal, state and local funding to ensure 988 operations and local crisis centers have the necessary resources to meet this anticipated increase. Greater funding could also expand the use of mental health mobile crisis teams for those rare instances when an in-person response is needed to help a person in crisis.”

After child’s suicide, parents can be engulfed in self-blame and guilt Washington Post
July 15, 2023
**Method warning** This article explores the experiences of parents who have lost children to suicide. A 2020 study of 575 bereaved parents, most of whom had lost a child to suicide, said they had feelings of blame-worthiness associated with grief difficulties, complicated grief, PTSD, depression, and other mental health challenges. Lynne Hughes, founder and chief executive of Comfort Zone Camp in Richmond, a bereavement organization for children, says, “Of all the emotions that you experience after a death, guilt is the trickiest to get over, because it’s not rational. You’re not dealing with logic, and your brain starts tricking you and deceiving you into kind of a dark place.” Julie Cerel, director of the Suicide Prevention & Exposure Lab at the University of Kentucky, says, “The thing we do know is that altruism helps a lot [when dealing with terrible grief]. Being able to see outside of yourself — whether that’s volunteering, mentoring other bereaved families, starting a foundation, doing advocacy, doing clinical work, something that doesn’t just keep you in your own grief and guilt.”