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:

Some first responders from Humboldt Broncos bus crash get mental-health breakCTV News
July 14, 2018
First responders who helped on the scene after a semi-truck and the Humboldt Broncos bus collided, which resulted in 10 player deaths and 13 injuries, went on a mental health break hosted by Wounded Warriors Canada. “These are individuals who are from a very isolated part of the country with negligible resources,” said Phil Ralph, national program director with Wounded Warriors. “First responders respond to tragedies and situations across the country that can impact them significantly each and every day.”

NDP MP urges boost in suicide prevention funding after help services suspendediPolitics
July 12, 2018
NDP MP Charlie Angus wrote to federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor urging for extra funding to national suicide prevention service Crisis Services Canada. “Despite no active promotion, the demand for help has far exceeded all expectations and (Canada Suicide Prevention Service) is urgently calling for funding to increase capacity to meet this demand and continue providing vital support,” Crisis Services Canada, a national network of crisis centres that launched the service, said in a statement it posted on its website last month. “Our current responders cannot meet the pilot program demand for the much-needed text and chat support.”

Predicting suicide attempts and suicide deaths using electronic health records National Institute of Mental Health (NIH)
July 12, 2018
A study published in May in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that “By leveraging existing electronic health record data and advancements in statistical modeling, it is possible to significantly improve the prediction of death by suicide and suicide attempts over conventional self-report methods,” said Michael Freed, Ph.D., chief of the Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology Branch in the NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research. “Valid and reliable suicide risk prediction models hold tremendous promise to reduce death by suicide, especially when integrated with evidence supported approaches to suicide prevention.”

A simple emergency room intervention can help cut suicide riskNPR
July 11, 2018
A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry has found that an emergency room intervention can reduce the risk of future suicide attempts. Often, people who attempt suicide see emergency room staff for immediate treatment, but receive little to no follow-up. However, the study found that when emergency room staff performed an intervention with a person and helped them come up with a safety plan (a plan created by the person at-risk with a support person with actionable items to keep the at-risk person safe if they find themselves thinking about suicide again), their chances of exhibiting future suicide behaviour was reduced by 50%.

13 common words and phrases that may signal depressionReader’s Digest
July 11, 2018
This Reader’s Digest post lists some words and phrases that, at first glance may seem harmless, but can actually indicate depression. “Me,” “myself,” and “I” are three words chosen because they signal that a person has turned their focus inward, which is a symptom of depression. “I feel better” is phrase that people often don’t associate with depression, but in fact is a sign of depression and potential suicide risk. Sometimes a person who is struggling can “feel better” because they’ve chosen to die by suicide. Check out our “Help save a life” guide to learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and help someone you think may be at risk.

Krista Carle’s fight for RCMP reform ‘will succeed,’ Goodale vows after her deathCBC
July 10, 2018
Krista Carle, 53, a former RCMP officer who fought for reforms within the RCMP to end sexual harassment and drew the public’s attention to the issue, has died by suicide. “We were saddened to learn of the passing of retired RCMP member Krista Carle,” said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Marie Damian. “She will be remembered for her courage in speaking out against sexual harassment and as a force for change that helped improve our workplace.” Carle struggled with PTSD and left the RCMP after 19 years with a medical discharge.

My dad overdosed on opioids on purposeTonic (Vice)
July 10, 2018
*Method warning* A daughter tells the story of her father, who, after suffering from chronic back pain, an unsuccessful back surgery, and the subsequent prescription of opioids, died by suicide. She discusses the gradual decline of his mental health, which he was never treated for, a previous attempt, and his death, which was officially classified as “undetermined.”“Pain increases suicide risk, so treating pain is likely to reduce suicide risk,” says Amy Bohnert, a health services researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School and the Ann Arbor VA. However, the article explains, “the problem is that the main pharmacological treatment for pain, opioids, can bring a patient’s mood down. In a study of Veterans Affairs patients on ‘higher doses of opioids had a greater risk of suicide than patients on lower doses.”

Why Calgary’s downturns tend to be ‘mancessions’CBC
July 4, 2018
Calgary’s economic downturns often affect men significantly, and this is in part due to the fact that, in a downturn, it’s often the jobs traditionally taken by men that are hit the hardest. In 2016, men made up 75% of the oil and gas sector workforce in Alberta, while they made up 87% of construction sector workforce. These sectors have some of the highest paying jobs but are also the most susceptible to economic swings. Often, men in these jobs are the breadwinners for their families and therefore their sense of self-identification may be tied closely to that job. This means that during a recession, when these men are laid off, their mental health is more likely to be negatively impacted, and this can cause some to consider suicide.

Suicide-prevention spikes will be installed on Coronado Bridge, where more than 400 have taken their livesLos Angeles Times
June 8, 2018
Temporary suicide prevention barriers will be installed on the San Diego – Coronado Bridge while city council explores its options for a more permanent solution. Spikes will be installed on the fence lining the bridge. Since opening in 1969, 400 people have died by suicide from the bridge.

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