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:
Fighting suicide and amplifying hope with the Centre for Suicide Prevention – SOS Safety Magazine
June 27, 2018
Centre for Suicide Prevention spoke with SOS Safety Magazine about the work of CSP, how suicide can be prevented, and how to talk to someone you think might be at risk. “When speaking about suicide generally, it’s important to note that: Suicide is complex because people are complex. There is never any one reason that a person will die by suicide, instead, there are several factors involved, often including mental illness and external life stressors.”
Canada is a leader in suicide prevention technology – Toronto Sun
July 3, 2018
The recently formed Canadian Suicide Prevention Service’s (CSPS) nation-wide crisis phone, text, and online chat service is being featured in this article about suicide prevention initiatives in Canada. “This solution is a made-in-Canada one,” said Roberta J. Fox-Lawson, the founding and interim CEO and CTO of Crisis Services Canada, which runs CSPS. “It’s the first in the world, believe it or not, where we brought voice, text and chat. There’s no one else in the world that’s done this. So it’s a (suicide) prevention service at a national level across all three media.”
Preventing suicide among college students – New York Times
July 2, 2018
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. This article suggests ways that suicide among college students can be reduced, for example, by making counselling available on-campus. It also gives tips to parents about how to discuss suicide with their child, for example, by not pushing unrealistic academic expectations on them. Another subject touched on by this article is the fact that American privacy law significantly limits the freedom of colleges to notify parents when there is a concern about a student.
Twitter comedian Jonny Sun found his voice on the internet. Now he’s using it to talk about mental health – CBC
July 1, 2018
Jonny Sun, Chinese-Canadian writer, artist, playwright and full-time PhD student at MIT, has used Twitter to open up about his struggles with mental health, using his twitter handle, named for a fictional alien character navigating earth, Jomny Sun. “There’s something still so lonely about my experience that I still don’t know if other people will relate to it,” he said. “I think a lot of it has to do with race and my identity as an Asian-Canadian. I think I’ve internalized that idea of being quiet and being sort of obedient and subservient is valuable.”
My dad committed suicide. This is why (and how) I’m telling my children – Washington Post
June 29, 2018
In this article, Lisa Jordan, a survivor of suicide loss who lost her father to suicide, explains her struggle in figuring out a way to explain suicide to her young children. Suicide had been hidden in her family for years, despite her father having attempted numerous times. A psychologist, Dahlia Topolosky, advised her to ask her kids how they believed her dad died, as they had been asking questions about it. Jordan explains, “‘Kids are imagining things anyway,’ Topolosky said. I can use simple words like ‘sad’ and ‘sick.’ I might even say he ‘died of an illness called depression.’ Eventually, I could explain, ‘Sometimes depression leads to a person thinking the world would be better if they weren’t in it.”
Why is suicide on the rise in the US but falling in most of Europe? – The Conversation
June 28, 2018
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US has found that deaths by suicide in the US have been rising, and it’s now one of the top 10 causes of death in that country. This is contrary to most European countries, where there’s been a drop in overall suicide rates. The author of this article, a researcher in the field, posits that this is due to the weakening of the social safety net and increasing income inequality.
Why do so many men die by suicide? – Slate
June 28, 2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Research in the US released new suicide data recently that found that men account for 77% of the roughly 45,000 people who die by suicide in the US each year. According to the author of this article, and founder of the organization Promundo, who has done research in the area of men’s mental health and suicide prevention, has found consistently that men feel uncomfortable expressing certain emotions, namely, “affection, sadness or fear” and have concluded that “men’s emotional isolation often means (they) are unlikely to pursue formal health care, or even to seek help and support from family and friends when they need it. Parents can talk to sons and daughters about seeking help when they need it. Fathers can model showing emotions other than anger.”
Find out more about men and suicide with our free resources about this topic.
After suicide attempts, former Hill staffer pushes for more mental health supports – CTV
June 25, 2018
Paul Wernick started working for a Liberal MP in 2015, and is now speaking out about the struggles he faced while in that position. “Part of the problem with the culture on the Hill is there’s just kind of a tough-it-out, drink-to-feel-better (work culture),” Paul Wernick told CTV Power Play host Don Martin. “Most people are actually not comfortable coming forward and saying they have issues because… we don’t have that much labour protection.” Wernick’s struggles became so intense that he even attempted suicide. He believes that stronger mental health supports need to be put in place for Parliament Hill workers.
Finding hope: Battling America’s suicide crisis – CNN
June 23, 2014
The suicide deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have increased public awareness about suicide; Anderson Cooper discusses suicide in this town hall for CNN. Cooper himself is a survivor of suicide loss, having lost his younger brother to suicide.