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:
Anderson Cooper: Thirty years after my brother’s death, I still ask why – CNN
June 24, 2018
Anderson Cooper lost his brother, Carter, to suicide almost 30 years ago. “That is one of the things about the suicide of a loved one: It’s easy to get stuck on how their life ended, instead of remembering how they lived their life,” says Cooper. He reflects that, while sometimes there is an answer to why someone dies by suicide, with contributing factors like substance abuse and mental illness, “But many more times there is no clear answer, or not one single reason. Learning to live without knowing why is one of the many things I continue to struggle with.” Cooper concludes: “I do know that my brother was a sweet young man who wanted to be in control of his life, and in the end, he simply wasn’t. The truth is, none of us really are. I wish I had better understood the pain he was in. I wish he had been able to reach out for help.”
There were warning signs before Chester Bennington’s suicide, the Linkin Park singer’s widow says – CNN
June 23, 2018
Talinda Bennington, who lost husband Chester Bennington, lead singer for the band Linkin Park, to suicide nearly a year ago, told CNN that he had struggled with depression for a long time prior to his suicide. Bennington explained that sometimes warning signs were more apparent, and in the days leading up to his death, Chester was “(at) his best),” and “we thought everything was okay.”
Any significant change of behaviour is a warning sign for suicide. Learn more about warning signs with our “Help save a life” resource.
Grieving a loved one’s suicide can be emotionally challenging for men: New study – HuffPost
June 22, 2018
New research from the University of British Columbia that examined the poorly understood area of how men grieve suicide deaths has found that men struggle emotionally, “largely due to masculine ideals that dictate men should remain stoic and keep their feelings bottled up.” John Oliffe, the study’s lead author and head of UBC’s Men’s Health Research program, said in a press release that “There is a growing body of research about male suicide, but we know much less about the grieving process that the survivors, particularly the men, go through.”
Kate Spade Foundation donate $1M for suicide prevention – CTV
June 20, 2018
Fashion brand Kate Spade New York, founded by Kate Spade, who recently died by suicide, is donating $1 million to support suicide prevention and mental health awareness.
Calls and texts to national suicide hotlines spiked in June – Washington Times
June 19, 2018
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Lines in the US reported increases in calls and texts following the recent suicide deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. “The Lifeline phone number is being shared widely by the media and on social media platforms, making more people aware of the resource and resulting in more people getting help from the Lifeline,” said a spokesperson for the Lifeline.
Hiding my mental illness from my Asian family almost killed me – Vox
June 18, 2018
In this first-person account, Amanda Rosenberg discusses the stigma of mental illness she felt from her mother’s side of the family. Rosenberg experienced untreated mental health issues for 27 years, because she “was scared of embarrassing (her) mother.” She talks about the high expectations of growing up in an Asian household, and the “toxic ‘model minority’ stereotype.” The stigma was so strong, says Rosenberg, that she wasn’t able to reach out for help until after her first suicide attempt at 27, when she was admitted into a hospital psychiatric ward.
Related – ‘Why UK Asians need to talk more about suicide’ – BBC
June 18, 2018
Phone apps are helping scientists track suicidal thoughts in real time – ScienceNews
June 18, 2018
Smartphone apps are helping researchers track changes in suicidal thoughts, providing further insight into the suicidal mind and how to identify those at immediate risk of suicide. A recent study out of Harvard University asked participants, 83 people who had experienced suicidality in the past, to rate the intensity of their suicidal thoughts five times a day, every four to eight hours, and five patterns of thinking emerged. One pattern was thought to be associated with the greatest risk for a future suicide attempt.