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Buddy Up uses friendship to help prevent men from suffering in silenceGlobe and Mail
June 25, 2022
Centre for Suicide Prevention’s annual campaign Buddy Up which runs every June to encourage mental health conversations among men has found strong support among the construction industry. Mike Prinicpalli, a safety manager with a Calgary construction company, feels it is crucial in an industry where men are supposed to be stoic and self-reliant to be able to “check in with our buddies” to see how they are doing mental-health wise. Principalli says that the majority of trucks at his company have Buddy Up air fresheners dangling from the rear-view mirrors, a clear sign of the program’s support. Buddy Up is specially tailored to men. Akash Asif, director of external relations for Centre for Suicide Prevention says, “We wanted to create a campaign that actually resonates and works with guys.” He adds, “Although guys typically feel very uncomfortable asking for help when they are struggling themselves, they are very willing to help their buddies.” The program has grown to include more than 600 individuals and organizations across Canada. It consists of a four-step guide for men to help their friends and co-workers. These steps include “paying attention to the people around you and noticing changes in their behaviour; starting a conversation by asking how they are doing; keeping that conversation going; and, importantly, knowing your role.”

Learn more about Buddy Up.

Powerful new mental health campaign aims to help people spot the signs of suicideCosmopolitan
June 22, 2022
The UK suicide prevention organization Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) has launched “The Last Photo” campaign which aims to “challenge what suicide looks like.” These are photographs of individuals who have died by suicide and its visual message is that people who take their own lives could be anyone. Wendy Robinson, Head of Services at CALM, says “People tend to think they already know what suicidal looks like – reclusiveness, crying, silence, etc. – and if they don’t see these traits in someone they’re worried about, they hesitate to intervene. In reality, suicidal behaviour takes many forms. People struggling can put on a mask concealing their inner turmoil before taking their own lives. That makes it even more important that we talk about.”

Parliamentary committee releases report on mental health and assisted dyingGlobe and Mail
June 22, 2022
An interim report on MAiD was issued by a special joint committee of the House of Commons and Senate. The report discusses provisions for people with mental disorders but the committee made no recommendations to the government. It does call for “standards of practice, clear guidelines, adequate training for practitioners, comprehensive patient assessments and meaningful oversight” to be “implemented well ahead of March 2023, when people suffering solely from mental disorders are due to become eligible for assisted dying.” The committee’s review was mandated in March 2021 when Bill C-7 was passed. It allowed for a two-year period of exclusion in order to study the issue of mental disorders and included requirements. The committee incorporated findings from an Expert Panel on MAiD which was released in a report on May 13. A final report by the committee is expected sometime before the October 17 deadline.

Ageism is everywhere and can affect physical, mental healthUPI
June 21, 2022
A new study in JAMA Network Open finds that almost all older adults have experienced ageism in some form or another. Julie Ober Allen, assistant professor of health promotion at the University of Oklahoma and author of the study says “Ageism may be the most common form of discrimination and the most socially condoned form.” More than 2000 people between 50 and 80 years of age were polled with 10 questions asking about their everyday experiences with ageism and their own internalized negative beliefs about aging. The higher the respondents scored on the survey, “the more likely folks were to be in poor physical or mental health, have chronic health conditions, and/or show signs of depression.”

Mental health suffered during pandemic due to lack of physical activity: report – Toronto Sun
June 21, 2022
The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table has issued a new report on the relationship between physical activity and mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report states that data indicate “physical activity led to improved quality of life and reduced depressive symptoms and anxiety during the pandemic”. A survey found that, overall, Canadian adults were engaging less in physical activity during the pandemic but those who exercised more than before the pandemic reported higher levels of mental health wellness.

State of the child report recommends better accountability, other changesCBC
June 21, 2022
Child and Youth Advocate for New Brunswick Kelly Lamrock says in his office’s annual state of the child report that the mental health of young New Brunswickers is a leading concern. He added, “The increase in youth suicide rates and the problems we are hearing in the mental health system are preoccupying me a great deal.” In the report his department has made several recommendations for change and for better accountability.

Supporting women with mental ill-health in pregnancy and after birth: lessons from South AfricaThe Conversation
June 20, 2022
Women in low-and middle-income countries experience high levels of anxiety and depression during pregnancy and the first year after birth. USAID Momentum, an American development agency, published an analysis of maternal mental health in low-and middle-income countries. The study focused on elements such as poverty, gender quality and violence in relation to poor mental health in pregnancy and after childbirth. They recommended certain practices, such as integrating mental health services into existing health system platforms, among others.

‘World lost a good person’: Manitoba parents warn of global sextortion targeting teenage boysCBC
June 19, 2022
A global sextortion scheme that targets teenage boys prompted a Manitoba boy to take his own life. Daniel Lints, 17, was blackmailed after being coerced into sharing an explicit photo of himself online and then died by suicide. The anonymous users play on the vulnerability of young boys by offering them sexual attention early on and then ask for an image or a video which they then use to blackmail for money. The RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Centre says they had 52,306 complaints for the year 2020-21 an increase of 510% from seven years earlier.

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