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:

Corbella: Shadow pandemic of suicide in restaurant industry is alarmingCalgary Herald
June 25, 2021
Modern Steak’s corporate chef Dustin Schafer and owner Stephen Deere are speaking out about having lost colleagues and friends in the restaurant industry to suicide. Deere explains that suicide has always been an issue in the industry and COVID-19 public health restrictions have introduced new stressors, “…people in the restaurant industry, with the openings and closures, have had it extra tough, and the truth is especially in our kitchens — we are their family, we are their structure and when people do not have a schedule and they do not have their family and friends beside them, they can spiral.” Mara Grunau, executive director at the Centre for Suicide Prevention explains that it’s important for people to reach out to those they’re worried might be struggling, “People don’t want to talk about (suicide). It’s uncomfortable. It’s one thing to talk about suicide on a theoretical level but to actually ask someone: ‘you’re not yourself these days, what’s going on with you?’ and really listening.” Modern Steak held a fundraiser for Centre for Suicide Prevention last week, raising over $10,000.

‘Past 16 months have been pretty rough’: Suicide prevention fundraiser planned at Calgary restaurantCTV News

Calgary chef shares grief after losing 11 colleagues to suicide: ‘It’s the secondary pandemic’Global

Dads of York Region creates online community of emotional support and cheesy jokesNewmarket Today
June 24, 2021
Chris Sorichetti started the group ‘Dads of York Region’ on Facebook two years ago in an attempt to find ‘like-minded individuals.’ The group now has over 600 members who share emotional support and advice on a variety of topics, as well as ‘dad jokes.’ One topic the group is discussing is suicide prevention in men for Buddy Up month. Buddy Up is a men’s suicide prevention campaign developed by the Centre for Suicide Prevention. Dads of York Region have been checking in with each other throughout the month. Sorichetti says, “It’s bringing forth a huge problem that we have that nobody’s really aware of. You know, guys are very tight-lipped in terms of sharing feelings, sharing issues.” The group balances serious issues with humour. Sorichetti says, “It’s non-stop dad jokes and dad videos. Sometimes I’ll just post a question and I won’t put the punchline.”

Steven Rigby inquest jury calls for more psychiatry training spots, non-lethal weapons for policeCBC
June 26, 2021
*Method warnng* Steven Rigby, 27, was killed by police in what was found to be ‘suicide by cop’ in 2018 in Saskatoon. An inquest into his death provided recommendations such as centralizing health records in Saskatchewan; a psychiatrist who worked with Rigby did not have access to his records before she discharged him from a mental health facility in the days following his suicide. Another recommendation was the addition of more on-staff psychologists in the RCMP and Saskatoon Police Service. “I would love for someone to say, ‘we started a program in honour of Steven.’ You know, a bed or room or something. Because Steven was tired and he didn’t want anybody to go through the struggles and the obstacles that he had to go through to get help,” said Rigby’s mother Carey Rigby-Wilcox. “I just hope people look back and reflect on the mistakes, the gaps, the cracks in each system and try to make it better and do that as quick as possible.”

Cannabis use may be linked with suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts in young adults, study findsCNN
June 23, 2021
A new study has found an association between thoughts of suicide and cannabis use in people aged 18-34. People who used cannabis “were more likely to have suicidal ideation and to plan or attempt suicide than those who did not use the drug at all.” 9% of people who used cannabis daily and 7% of people who used cannabis less frequently reported suicidal thoughts. This is compared to the 3% of people who didn’t use cannabis and reported thoughts of suicide. (These percentages exclude study participants who experienced a major depressive episode in the past year).

Suicides among post-9/11 veterans are four times as high as combat deaths, a new study findsNew York Times
June 22, 2021
A new report has found that of American military members who served since Sept. 11, 2001, over 30,000 died by suicide while just over 7,000 were killed in military operations. Not all members who died by suicide were involved in active combat, therefore excluding combat-related PTSD and brain injury trauma as factors in their suicides. The study pointed to “exposure to mental, moral, and sexual traumas; the influence of the military’s hegemonic masculine culture; access to guns; and the difficulty of reintegrating into civilian life” as factors in member suicides. “It also questioned ‘the impact of the military’s reliance on guiding principles which overburden individual service members with moral responsibility or blameworthiness’ for actions or consequences over which they may have little control.”

Mother’s call for action leads to report, recommendations 2 years after 12-year-old son’s death by suicideGlobal
June 21, 2021
*Method warning* Arka Chakraborty, 12, died by suicide two years ago. His mother, Durba Mukherjee says, “I want people to remember him just for the person he was. He was a brilliant child, he was smart, he was witty. He had an awesome sense of humor. And if you talk to his school, his class, teachers, his friends, he always wanted to make everyone feel proud of him.” Mukherjee was successful in advocating for an inquest into Chakraborty’s death, which provided recommendations to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Ontario’s Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, and the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto to prevent further death’s like Chakraborty’s in the future.

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