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People considering suicide might show signs early on. Here’s what to watch for CNN
July 14, 2022
Predicting who might attempt suicide is difficult, as Justin Baker, clinical director of The Suicide and Trauma Reduction Initiative for Veterans at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explains, “(It) is extremely, extremely difficult. You can look back in time, when someone’s made an attempt or has died, and go, ‘Oh, look at all these things that were going on in their life.’ The difficulty is that a lot of people handle or experience those types of stressors as well but never go on to (attempt suicide).” Though suicide may be difficult to predict, we can all play a role in preventing suicide by watching out for some common warning signs that a person is struggling. Warning signs include “preparing for suicide,” “giving away cherished belongings, sleeping too much or too little, withdrawing or isolating oneself, showing rage or desire to enact revenge, and acting anxious or agitated,” says Baker. Comments about suicide as well as “hopelessness,” “extreme mood swings,” and “obsession with death or lethal means,” are other signs to watch out for. If you notice these warning signs, be supportive and intentional about asking what’s going on for them. “You’re not going to cause someone to be suicidal by asking directly about suicide,” Baker said. “The worst they’re going to say is ‘no’ and get offended. If they are, still ask them. I’d rather have someone offended at me than dead.”

How Can We Raise Our Boys To Be Better Men?Harper’s Bazaar Arabia
July 14, 2022
In this article, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and mother Mariam Farag suggests how parents can raise male children to be more emotionally healthy as men and how parents can be support structures for them. Farag explains, “Change needs to begin with us as their parents. We need to alter the conversation so that our boys don’t end up as repressed adults that turn their suppressed emotions into violence or other unhealthy behaviours. There are two things we can do immediately to develop emotionally healthy boys…. The first step would be to stop telling them to suppress their feelings. Let us allow our boys to cry…  The second step would be to listen to our boys. Truly listen to them. Talk about what led them to the tears and anger. Help them work out these emotions.” Men die by suicide almost 4 times more often than women in the US, and, Farag believes this is due to ” Feel(ing) they always need to be in control, be dominant and have power over others, not expressing any emotion except for anger. This is so profoundly damaging to boys as they grow up and struggle to be healthy adults.”

Constance Wu Says She Attempted Suicide After Fresh Off the Boat Tweets Stoked IreVanity Fair
July 14, 2022
Actor Constance Wu has opened up about her hiatus from social media and acting, triggered by “pretty severe” “outrage and internet shaming” following comments she had made about being upset that her sitcom, Fresh Off the Boat, was being renewed for a final season. Wu says she “felt awful” about her comments. The shaming she experienced significantly impacted her mental health and eventually led to a suicide attempt.  She explains, “When a few DMs from a fellow Asian actress told me I’d become a blight on the Asian American community, I started feeling like I didn’t even deserve to live anymore. That I was a disgrace to AsAms, and they’d be better off without me. Looking back, it’s surreal that a few DMs convinced me to end my own life, but that’s what happened. Luckily, a friend found me and rushed me to the ER.” Wu says, after “a little break from Hollywood and a lot of therapy I feel OK enough to venture back on here (at least for a little bit)… And even though I’m scared, I’ve decided that I owe it to the me-of-3-years-ago to be brave and share my story so that it might help someone with theirs.”

988 set for quiet launch in light of state, federal concerns about crisis call spikePolitico
July 12, 2022
In the US, the National Lifeline will be accessible via 9-8-8 July 16. However, despite some wanting a very public and widely-promoted launch, many states will downplaying it, since many states are ill-prepared to quickly answer crisis calls with operators familiar with local resources. Federal funding was given to states for implementation but, according to federal officials, few states have implemented long-term funding. “It’s certainly comforting for callers if you know that your call is being answered, at least within your own region and, in our case, within your own state,” said Matthew Wintersteen, an associate professor at Thomas Jefferson University who has been working with the state of Pennsylvania to implement the line. “If they’re not more local to you, within your own state, for example, it’s harder for them to connect to the available services that might be in those communities.”

Cyberbullying linked with suicidal thoughts and attempts in young adolescentsNational Institutes of Health
July 12, 2022
In-person bullying is a known risk factor for suicide among young people in the US, and new research has indicated that cyberbullying may also be linked to suicidal thoughts. Research participants who experienced cyberbullying, including female and Black participants who were most likely to be bullied online compared to other groups, were four times more likely to report thoughts of suicide and attempts than those who hadn’t been cyberbullied. Unlike in-person bullying, where it has been found that both the person experiencing bullying and the person perpetrating the bullying were at a heightened risk of suicidal ideation, people perpetrating online bullying were not found to have an increased risk. “At a time when young adolescents are spending more time online than ever before, this study underscores the negative impact that bullying in the virtual space can have on its targets,” said Dr. Ran Barzilay from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “It may be prudent for primary care providers to screen for cyberbullying routinely in the same way that they might screen for other suicide risk factors like depression. Parents and educators should also be aware of this risk factor.”

University of Cambridge launches inquiry after five suspected suicidesGuardian
July 11, 2022
Over the past four months, Cambridge University has experienced a number of student suicide deaths. A rapid review was conducted by university authorities and will be re-launched following the most recent death. So far, Professor Graham Virgo, senior pro-vice-chancellor for education, says that there are “no common cause(s) or clear linkages” between the deaths. He says the university is “committed to delivering a comprehensive set of actions that are designed to help keep students safe.” These actions include increased investment in university counselling services to reduce wait times, dedicated wellbeing advisors to identify students who may be struggling, and suicide awareness training for front line staff. Virgo says, “Sadly, across universities here in the UK, and internationally, we are seeing growing numbers of young people using counselling services and reporting struggles with their mental health.” National statistics in the UK do not point to an increase in suicides among post-secondary students, reporting the lowest rate in four years in 2020, but recently, there have been a number of high profile suicides among this population.

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