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:

Hot weather linked to increased suicide rates in the US, MexicoGlobal 
July 24, 2018
A new study has shown a link between rising temperatures and increased suicide rates in the US and Mexico. For every 1 degree Celsius increase there was a corresponding 0.7% increase in suicide rate in the US and a 2.1% increase in Mexico. “Hotter temperatures are clearly not the only, nor the most important, risk factor for suicide,” said lead author Marshall Burke, an economist at Stanford University in a statement. Mara Grunau, Executive Director at Centre for Suicide Prevention, said that although the study can give researchers some perspective, it doesn’t mean that hot weather will cause someone to think of suicide; suicide is the result of several factors, not just one thing, like the weather.

The province is investing more than $500,000 into the Calgary Counselling CentreCBC News
July 27, 2018
After the province announced more funding for counselling services and Mayor Nenshi’s anticipated notice of motion to council asking for $25 million for the Rainy Day fund for a mental health strategy,  Mara Grunau, Executive Director of the Centre for Suicide Prevention, spoke to CBC News about what more mental health funding could mean for the city of Calgary. Interview starts at the 7 minute mark.
Related – More mental health services for Calgary familiesAlberta Government

Kielburgers: We need to change the way we talk about suicideLondon Free Press
July 27, 2018
This editorial acknowledges that, while the public is discussing suicide more frequently than in the past, “the conversations tend to fit one formula, making depression seem incurable and suicide the inevitable end.” In fact, help is available for those who think about suicide, and there are many people who think about suicide but who receive help after talking to a loved one or a professional, and “they discover a reason to keep living.” According to the author, “That’s the story we need to hear. A focus on those who slip through the cracks seems to normalize suicide as the end to very common condition. We’re missing a powerful opportunity to tell stories of resiliency and hope. Positive stories offer a more complete picture of depression – they can also save lives.”

$30 million agreement signed to improve Indigenous mental healthStar Vancouver 
July 27, 2018
The federal and BC governments, along with the First Nations Health Council (FNHC), have agreed to invest $30 million in mental health and wellness services for First Nations people living in BC. “The focus on mental health was sparked in part by groups of young people committing suicide,” said FNHC Grand Chief Doug Kelly. The agreement outlines a “family-focused and community driven approach to health and wellness.”

Sharp increase in gun suicides signals growing public health crisis NPR
July 26, 2018
*Method warning* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, from 2006 to 2016, 218,000 Americans died by suicide using a firearm. “The public is really misinformed about this issue,” said Jennifer Stuber, policy director of Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington. “They think it’s homicide. But 60 to 80 percent of gun deaths are suicides, depending on what state you’re in. So we have to start raising awareness about this.”

How to ask someone you’re worried about if they’re thinking of suicide
Conversation AU
July 24, 2018
Australia’s leading mental health organizations recently launched the #YouCanTalk campaign with the goal of encouraging people to ask others they’re concerned about if they are thinking about suicide. It’s better to talk about suicide: it doesn’t cause someone who isn’t already to think about suicide; asking actually reduces the risk of an attempt, according to researchers.

New fathers need depression screening, tooGlobe and Mail
July 23, 2018
A newly published US study has found that new fathers are nearly as likely as new mothers to experience symptoms of depression. Researchers screened for depression in parents during over 9,500 pediatric clinic visits and found that 4.4% of fathers and 5% of mothers screened positive for depression. “Almost all new parents are tired, but if a dad (or a mom) is continually feeling blue, unable to enjoy the things they usually enjoy or are feeling abnormally stressed, they can start by talking to their child’s doctor,” said Dr. Craig Garfield, a pediatrics researcher at Northwestern University and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “By letting the doctor know how they are feeling, that new dad may find the help and resources to get him through the transition to parenthood, and be the best dad he can be for his child.”

Young people’s mental health: we can build a resilient generationGuardian
July 23, 2018
The UK’s Birmingham University’s mental health commission has been compiling a report about children’s mental health which includes recommendations of what the causes of mental illness in childhood are and how it can be reduced. They found that there are four building blocks for a “mentally prosperous nation” which include nurturing family, peer, and community relationships, minimizing adverse experiences and exclusions, developing mentally friendly education and employment and responding early and well to the first signs of mental distress.

Physician suicides begin setting off alarms around health care industryNashville Public Radio
July 23, 2018
*Method warning* Physicians have a heightened risk of suicide: they have access and knowledge of lethal means. Female physicians in the US are twice as likely to die by suicide than women in the general population and male physicians have suicide rate that’s 50% higher than males in the general population. Emergency room doctors were found to be most at risk. One issue in the US is that seeing a psychiatrist can jeopardize a doctor’s medical license.

Study: App-backed intervention led to nonsignificant decrease in teen suicide attemptsMobiHealth News
July 23, 2018
A recent study looked at the efficacy of specialized follow-up app support for teens who had a suicide intervention while they were hospitalized. The study found that teens who were supported in the following weeks with an app attempted suicide less often than those who hadn’t received the follow-up app support. “Those first few weeks between leaving the hospital and receiving outpatient care is a high-risk time for these adolescents,” Dr. Betsy Kennard, the study’s lead author said. “We’re trying to equip them with the tools they need when they become distressed — skills that may not be taught during standard inpatient treatment because there’s so much that goes into just stabilizing patients during their few days in the hospital.”

Coroner’s inquest called into suicide of a BC RCMP involved in controversial Taser caseStar Vancouver 
July 23, 2018
RCMP Officer Pierre Lamaitre, 55, was in charge of media relations during a controversial case where a man died after being Tasered by an RCMP Officer. Lamaitre died by suicide in 2013 and a coroner’s inquest is being called to examine the psychological factors surrounding his death, including the presence of PTSD. “I think in this case after reviewing the information from the coroner’s investigation, the chief coroner directed this inquest so there is an opportunity to review the circumstances of Mr. Lemaitre’s death and to explore whether there are opportunities for a fact finding jury to make recommendations that might prevent deaths in similar circumstances,” said Coroners Service spokesperson Andy Watson.

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