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:

Cambridge Bay camp helps teens make new connectionsCBC
August 5, 2019
A summer camp in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut is encouraging youth to create connections with their communities and cultures. Cambridge Bay, a hamlet of 1,700 people, is hosting the Youth Enrichment Program. Youth 12 to 19 spend time with elders learning skills, and discussing issues such as addictions and teen pregnancy. Casual presentations are made each day on other topics, such as suicide prevention. “Risk factors that most of the youth face is sometimes from home,” said Francis Oduro, manager of culture and recreation for the hamlet. “They can start getting some positive friendships in the community.”

Military suicides reached an all-time high in 2018, Pentagon saysWashington Examiner
August 5, 2019
A newly released report by the Pentagon in the US has reported that in 2017, 325 military service members died by suicide. That is the highest number of suicides to date. 95% of the of military members who died by suicide in 2017 were male, 81% Caucasian. 

She lost her dad to suicide. She now hopes a billboard can help save others. Washington Post
August 2, 2019
Nicole Leth, 26, lost her father Richard to suicide in October 2010. Let wanted to reach out to others who are struggling and may be thinking of suicide, so she purchased a billboard advertisement along the highway in Kansas City, Missouri. The billboard says “You are human. You are loveable. You are strong. You are enough.” “I’m fighting for a ripple effect of good to bring softness to things that feel unbearable sometimes,” Leth said.

‘Your life matters’: Wisconsin farm promotes suicide prevention awareness in annual corn mazeUSA Today
August 1, 2019
Farmer John Govin, who makes a corn maze each year at his farm in Wisconsin, has decided to include a suicide prevention message in this year’s maze. Govin had “Your life matters, 1-800-273-TALK About Suicide” included as a message in the maze. “As a society and a culture, we’ve got to talk about this,” Govin said. “Every person alive is the most important person in the world to somebody else. It just matters so much. I can’t repeat enough that everybody’s life matters.” 

The US Air Force has ordered a one-day stand down to address a growing suicide problemQuartz
August 1, 2019
The US Air Force has announced that there will be a day-long “operational pause” for every unit to discuss the issue of suicide within their ranks and to take stock of members’ mental health. Commanders must choose a day to stand down within the next six weeks, according to general David Goldfein. Goldfein said that suicide is, “an adversary that is killing more of our airmen than any enemy on the planet.” 

NDP calls on Sask Party for suicide prevention strategyCTV
July 30, 2019
Last year, Saskatchewan MLA Doyle Vermette tabled Bill 613: The Saskatchewan Strategy for Suicide Prevention Act. Marilyn Irwin, who lost her son to suicide last year, spoke out about the need for a provincial strategy alongside MLA Vermette and MLA Danielle Chartier. Irwin’s son MacRae Irwin died by suicide while detoxing from methamphetamine alone, after being told that the complexity of his mental health was too great to get help in Saskatchewan. “This was a young guy who had a house and a family in Saskatoon and a job. So this can happen to anyone. It can happen to your loved ones. I never thought in a million years I would be telling this story,” Irwin said. “Detoxing on your own from meth is a dangerous situation and it should have been medically assisted.”

Once they hid their stories. But now, survivors of suicide are ‘coming out’ to combat a national crisis.Washington Post
July 29, 2019
Suicide attempt survivors are speaking out at a rally for suicide prevention on Capitol Hill in the US, asking for more to be done to prevent suicide. “We are where cancer was in the 1960s, or AIDS was in the 1970s, or Alzheimer’s 10 years ago. We haven’t pierced the national consciousness,” said John Madigan, head of public policy at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “We haven’t put a face on the problem.”

For nurses at risk of suicide, program lets them seek help when they need it the mostLos Angeles Times
July 26, 2019
A new study has found that nurses die by suicide at a higher rate than those in the general population. The study takes into account deaths in the US from 2014, and found that suicide rates for female nurses are 58% higher than in the general population, while rates for male nurses are 51% higher. “The truth is that people do get scarred by (the events they experience at their workplace). They talk about something that happened 10 years ago just as if it happened today,” said Dr. Judy Davidson, paper co-author and UC San Diego nursing and psychiatry researcher. “We haven’t been caring for ourselves properly. For example, policemen and firemen get time off if they witness a death, but nurses have been expected to just keep going on to the next patient with maybe a 10-minute break in between.” The Healer Education Assessment and Referral program (HEAR) at UC San Diego hospitals encourages a proactive approach to self-care and urges workers to reach out for help when they need it. 

Subscribe to this weekly mailing list