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Online, ‘unalive’ means death or suicide. Experts say it might help kids discuss those thingsAssociated Press
July 13, 2023
This article explores the term ‘unalive’ as a synonym for ‘suicide.’ The word is one of many that people on social media use to avoid being censored. Andrea Beltrama, a linguistics researcher at the University of Pennsylvania says, “Whoever says ‘unalive’ intends to communicate something about suicide, and knows that, and assumes that whoever is on the other end will be able to retrieve that intention.” The article says, “Using ‘unalive’ could make for more meaningful discussions among youths – giving them a sense of community and trust that they couldn’t have with adults who use the words ‘suicide’ or ‘kill.'” Amber Samuels, a therapist, says, “I think when we avoid using specific language to talk about suicide and sexual assault, we risk contributing to a culture of silence and shame surrounding these topics. In the case of social media, though, it’s the avoidance of using the actual, uncensored word that allows awareness and conversations to even be possible.” Lily Haeberle, 18, a high school student, says, “I think they have sort of developed these alternative words as a means of still being able to joke about those types of things without it coming across in such a harsh way.”

Unemployment and underemployment significant drivers of suicide: analysisUniversity of Sydney
July 13, 2023
A new study by the University of Sydney has found causation between unemployment, underemployment, and suicide rates in Australia. Researchers analyzed suicide data from 2004 to 2016, estimating that 10% of suicides resulted from ‘labour underutilization.’ Researchers suggest that economic policies prioritizing ‘full employment’ should be at the core of national suicide prevention strategies. Lead researcher Adam Skinner says, “Our analyses provide evidence that rates of unemployment and underemployment were significant drivers of suicide mortality in Australia during that time. Ensuring adequate employment for every person seeking work is an effective way to reduce the immense personal and social cost of intentional self-harm and suicide.”

They have minutes to save a life — 988 is a year old and busyWashington Post
July 13, 2023
**Graphic method warning** One year ago on July 14, the United States launched 3-digit access to the national suicide prevention line. This article focuses on the service, the people who answer it, and the people who call or text. Brittany, a hotline team supervisor at EveryMind, says, “A lot of what (crisis line responders) do is validation and reflection. A lot of times, people think those around them are tired of hearing their same stories over and over again. They have us reflect back on what they’re feeling and saying. A lot of it is supportive listening, really empowering and validating what people are feeling.” She adds, “A lot of times, in talking to people who aren’t involved with this kind of work, they say: ‘That sounds depressing.’ But we’re saving lives. Even if we have difficult contacts, I feel so much better, to instill hope in people when they’re reaching out with no hope at all. That’s what makes this work so special.”

As Suicide Rates Rise, Bereavement Camps Bring Healing to Kids Left BehindTIME
July 12, 2023
Comfort Zone Camp is a three-day suicide bereavement camp taking place in New Jersey. The camp is for children, teens, and young adults who have lost a close family member to suicide, with the goal of giving them a place to grieve, open up, and heal from their losses. Camp attendees are paired with ‘big buddies’ and the focus is on them feeling safe to tell their stories and to learn about the nuances of their grief through activities like healing circles. Kaitlin Daeges, volunteer executive director at the Livin Foundation, a different organization that has set up a similar camp in Minnesota in 2019 says, “Camp is both reactive and preventive at the same time. We’re trying to support these families and the people left behind…so they don’t get to the same place.” Camps are usually free and can be more accessible than traditional mental health care. Comfort Zone Camp attendee Malachi Chassé says, “You can talk without any fears. You can share. Everyone’s going to understand.”

New Study: Mental Health Conditions Largely Absent, Distorted In Popular FilmForbes
June 30, 2023
A new study has found a lack of representation of mental health storytelling in popular film in the US. In 2022, no G-rated films depicted characters with mental illness, and over 50% of characters with mental illness were depicted in films that were rated R. Addiction, mood disorders, anxiety, PTSD and suicide were the most commonly depicted mental health conditions. The study also found that mental health was still being stigmatized in film, with 78% of depictions in 2022 being ‘disparaging’. Help-seeking behaviours were also not commonly shown – only 25% of characters with mental illness were shown to be going to therapy and 16% in other forms of treatment.