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Annual ‘Buddy Up’ campaign aims to encourage men to talk about mental healthCalgary Herald
June 15, 2022
Centre for Suicide Prevention’s annual month-long “Buddy Up” campaign began on June 1. It aims to promote mental-health conversations among men, who have a suicide rate three times that of women. The Buddy Up campaign encourages men to reach out to their buddies to find out how they’re really doing and support them if they’re struggling. Akash Asif, external relations director of Centre for Suicide Prevention, says, “men are expected to really endure pain or hardship without really showing our feelings or complaining.” He adds “The main goal of the campaign is to encourage and promote authentic conversations among men and their buddies — for them to go beyond that small talk.”

Learn more about Buddy Up.

Mental health groups express concern about readiness of new suicide prevention hotlineCNN News
June 18, 2022
July 16 is the date that the new suicide prevention hotline number “988” goes into effect for people in crisis in the United States. There is an expectation that the number of calls will double with the new shorter number. Many mental health and suicide prevention groups worry that call centers will not be able to handle the increase in sudden demand. Bob Gebbia, the CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, says “a big concern is that the demands might outstrip the capacity very quickly and these centers will be overwhelmed.” The overall readiness of call centers to meet the changes and challenges of “988” vary from state to state and many will require time “getting up to speed.”

This Indigenous skateboarding group is taking its program across North America to empower and inspireGlobe and Mail
June 17, 2022
An Indigenous youth skateboarding group based in Vancouver has travelled extensively across North America spreading the gospel of skateboarding techniques and positive well-being to other Indigenous communities. Rose Archie of Nations Skate Youth says that in many of these communities they have seen “commonalities” in an “eagerness of youth to connect” but also seen common struggles some of the people face such as “alcohol and drug abuse, and higher suicide rates.” Their group tries to use physical activity to convey messages of hope, empowerment, and inspiration.

Decriminalization: Taming suicide tragedy – Vanguard
June 14, 2022
Attempting suicide remains a crime in many nations. This opinion piece in a Nigerian publication by Professor Taiwo Sheikh expresses the need to decriminalize attempted suicide in Nigeria. He stresses that this provision of criminality is “a legacy of old law from the era of British colonization…it is retrogressive, restrictive and stigmatizing.”

Most male suicides in U.S. show no link to mental health issues, study revealsUCLA Newsroom
June 14, 2022
A new study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine led by Mark Kaplan, leading suicidologist and professor of social welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, has found 60% of recent suicide deaths of American males aged 10 years and older had no documented mental health conditions. They culled data from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) from 2016- to 2018, finding more than 70, 000 American males who died by suicide. At least 42, 000 of these had no known mental health conditions. They also discovered that those without mental health conditions lacked a history of suicidal ideation or attempted suicide.

Suicide risk for cancer patients decreased since 2000Cancer Health
June 13, 2022
The American Cancer Society conducted a study that reveals patients who were diagnosed for cancer in the United States in the last twenty years had a reduction in suicide risk. Their risk was still higher than that of the general population, however.  Data of 17 million patients diagnosed with cancer were culled from 43 population-based state cancer registries from 2000-2016.

New mental health initiative created in Calgary focuses on healing hospitality industryGlobal News
June 13, 2022
Hesso Cho, a veteran of the Calgary hospitality industry, has created the Hospitality Healing Project (HHP) an initiative to support those in the industry struggling with their mental health. HHP offers monthly peer support and helps connect individuals with therapy and counselling. Cho says “people in hospitality go through inconsistent shifts, there’s inconsistent pay because you’re dependent on tips,” and “You’re always around substances and there’s an expectation to show up in good mood to encourage guests to have good experience when maybe when you’re not genuinely feeling that way.” In addition, the pandemic has increased anxiety, depression and burnout for hospitality workers. The initiative will help an ailing industry to heal.

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