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:

Indigenous people, trauma, and suicide preventionCentre for Suicide Prevention
June 21, 2021
Today is Indigenous Peoples Day, and we’ve updated our toolkit on Indigenous people and trauma. Historically, suicide was a very rare occurrence among Indigenous peoples, and it was only after contact with Europeans that it became prevalent. Intergenerational trauma is one of the primary colonial effects contributing to the elevated rate of suicide among Indigenous people today. These suicides can be prevented, and there are many aspects of Indigenous culture that contribute to resilience against suicide, including connection between Indigenous Elders and youth, speaking an Indigenous language, and practicing spirituality.

Suicide awareness council supports Buddy UpWellington Advertiser
June 17, 2021
Suicide Awareness Council Wellington-Dufferin are Champions for the Buddy Up campaign, developed by Centre for Suicide Prevention to help prevent suicide in men. Council coordinator Heather Glenister says the campaign is important because, “Men are socialized to be strong, stoic and self-reliant. Showing emotion is a sign of weakness, as is asking for help. Further, men are under served by our traditional health and social service sectors.”

Mental Health For Men Focused On In June In Drumheller AreaDrumheller Online
June 16, 2021
Drumheller/Starland Rural Mental Health Network are Champions for the Centre for Suicide Prevention’s Buddy Up campaign, focusing on men and suicide prevention. Diana Rowe, committee member from the Network said they’re supporting the campaign because, “Men die by suicide three times more often than women.  The main reason for that is because men are less likely to seek help when they’re struggling with things.”

Men in Fort McMurray asked to ‘Buddy Up’ for suicide preventionCBC
June 15, 2021
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) of Wood Buffalo is raising awareness for suicide prevention throughout the month of June as Champions for the Buddy Up campaign. Mike Jones of CMHA Wood Buffalo explains why the campaign was a fit for Fort McMurray, because many people are struggling with their mental health and “Especially some of those camp guys, they’re away from their family for weeks, sometimes even months at a time.” Akash Asif, external relations director for the Centre for Suicide Prevention, said, “We are challenging men to speak to their friends, speak to their buddies, pay attention, start conversations and then get the proper support and resources for those buddies.” Janene Hickman, a counsellor in Fort McMurray and Trainer for the Centre for Suicide Prevention, also signed up to be a Champion. “All of us have mental health, whether it’s good mental health or maybe poor mental health and conversations really can save lives. We need to take care of each other.”

What to do when you’re thinking about suicideCBC
June 20, 2021
In this opinion piece, Dr. Heather Keizer, clinical psychiatrist and faculty with the Department of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University, provides tips for coping with passive suicidal thoughts. “The number one technique for preventing both suicidal thoughts and suicidal actions as well, is distraction — thinking about something else — doing something that engages you, like cooking a meal or writing in a gratitude journal, ” says Keizer. Noting when thoughts are triggered (time of day and situation) is also helpful, as is developing coping strategies to deal with frustration and emotional distress. However, if people are actively thinking about dying by suicide, they should call a crisis line and seek help, and friends and family should be aware of any changes in behaviour so they can reach out to the person if they’re worried about them.
Additional resources:
How to ask for help
Safety planning toolkit
How to have a conversation with someone you’re worried about

Paris Jackson Reflects on ‘Feeling Regret’ After Past Suicide AttemptsSelf
June 17, 2021
In an interview on Red Table Talk with Willow Smith, Paris Jackson talks about her mental health and past suicide attempt. “A lot of people do feel regret when they try to attempt suicide, like a last-minute regret. There have been times where I did and times where I didn’t, where I was upset that it didn’t work,” Jackson told Smith. “But I can say several years later that I’m really grateful that it didn’t. Things have gotten better.” She says that she came to terms with the idea that her suicide just “wasn’t meant to be”, and that “maybe it’s just not my time, maybe I’ll just wait it out,” however, “during that waiting time, I’ve just found more and more joys in life and more ways to cope and more ways to really live instead of just exist,” says Jackson. She also discusses her PTSD symptoms, and some of the mental health treatments she’s done, including EMDR therapy.

Canadiens assistant coach pays tribute to late daughter after Game 3 win
June 19, 2021
Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Luke Richardson wears a pin on his lapel in memory of his daughter, Daron Richardson, who died by suicide in 2010 at age 14. “It feels like a long time ago,” Richardson said of Daron’s death. “But sometimes it feels like yesterday. I just thought it was a perfect time to pay a little tribute to her.” The Do It for Daron movement focuses on youth mental health and was started through the Royal Ottawa Hospital.

One in 100 deaths is by suicide
World Health Organization
June 17, 2021
Suicide is still a leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest report, Suicide worldwide in 2019. “We cannot – and must not – ignore suicide,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Each one is a tragedy. Our attention to suicide prevention is even more important now, after many months living with the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of the risk factors for suicide   ̶   job loss, financial stress and social isolation – still very much present. The new guidance that WHO is releasing… provides a clear path for stepping up suicide prevention efforts.” The guidance being released is for implementing WHO’s ‘LIVE LIFE’ approach to suicide prevention. The four strategies of the LIVE LIFE approach include: limiting access to the means of suicide; educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide; fostering socio-emotional life skills in adolescents; and early identification, assessment, management and follow-up of anyone affected by suicidal thoughts and behaviour.

Interim report demands more crisis training, education and treatment, following suicide of Fredericton teenCTV News
June 17, 2021
Lexi Daken, 16, was released from the emergency room after trying to see a psychiatrist for her suicide ideation and died by suicide 6 days later. An interim report has been released by the child and youth advocate of New Brunswick, providing 10 recommendations to the province, including: training for ER staff to ensure they are equipped to provide competent and compassionate care to youth who present with suicide ideation or attempts; a provincial fund and strategy for mental health awareness and education in schools and communities; an independent review by New Brunswick First Nations experts of youth suicide prevention for Indigenous children and youth; and improve interim psychological and psychiatric treatment options in regional hospitals. Daken’s father Chris says he hopes the recommendations will be implemented, “There are things that are more important than money. We still have a lot of unanswered questions … how can you put a value on someone’ life when they go in to get help?”

AMA adopts policy to address increases in youth suicide and save livesAmerican Medical Association
June 16, 2021
The American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a new policy aimed at preventing youth suicide. Under the new policy the AMA will encourage physician education in youth suicide prevention; support collaboration with organizations to enhance and promote youth protective factors; encourage efforts to provide youth with more equitable access to treatment for disorders linked with suicide risk; encourage continued suicide prevention research, and more. AMA Board Member Willie Underwood III, M.D., MS.c, M.P.H said, “Physicians play a vital role and we must ensure that all physicians who see youth patients have the ability, capacity, and access to the tools needed to identify when a young person is experiencing a period of imminent risk and help prevent suicide attempts.”

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