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:

Second annual Run for LifeCentre for Suicide Prevention
Registration is now open for our second annual Run for Life! Join us in Calgary, Alberta Sept. 29 to support suicide prevention and honour those lost to suicide by running or walking into the sunrise.

Study reveals mental health struggles in farmingBonnyville Nouvelle
June 4, 2019
A new report released by the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food has found that farmers, ranchers, and their families are facing high levels of stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts. “There’s a stigma of mental health that can prevent producers from seeking help. We all go to the doctor for physical ailments, however, we neglect our mental health,” said Kellie Nichiporik, environmental program manager for the Lakeland Agriculture Research Association (LARA). “There’s a lot of myths about (suicide) out there and a lot of misconceptions. The more we talk about it and bring it into our everyday conversation, the fear, misinformation, and myths will, hopefully, become dispelled,” Robert Olson from CSP explained.

Two Veteran Police Officers Die by Suicide in 24 Hours, Stunning DepartmentNew York Times
June 6, 2019
The New York City Police Department lost two veteran police officers by suicide in less than one day last week. These deaths led to senior police officials making direct pleas to members of the 36,000 member force to reach out if they need help. “To the cops here today, I need you to know, help is available to you,” said the police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, in a news conference on Thursday. “Help is here, you are never alone.”

Nine child deaths highlighted as child and youth advocate calls for changeEdmonton Journal
June 5, 2019
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate in Alberta has released a new report outlining the deaths of nine children in care, including two who died by suicide. Recommendations from this report include a public inquiry into the suicide death of a 12-year-old, named Nova in the report, as well as increased financial and organization supports for frontline staff, so they can have immediate access to subject matter experts such as Indigenous Elders, and psychiatrists. “One of the concerns I’ve had for sometime is we’ve done reviews where we can see what a difference it would have made in the lives of these children, youth and families if they had had some expertise accessible to the caseworkers,” said Del Graff, Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate. “I’ve never understood how I have access to that level of expertise after a tragedy takes place, but social workers, case managers and supervisors can’t have expertise before.”

Individuals who attempt suicide carry an increased genetic liability for depression, regardless of their psychiatric disorderNeuroscience News
June 5, 2019
A new study, the largest genome-wide association study on suicide attempts to date, has found that a genetic connection to depression increases a person’s risk for a suicide attempt. “Like many psychiatric disorders, suicide attempt is known to have a partially genetic underpinning and genetic studies can provide invaluable insights into the underlying biology,” says Niamh Mullins, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychiatric Genomics. “Our data showed that suicide attempters with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder or a schizophrenia diagnosis carry a greater genetic liability for major depression than non-attempters.”

One year after Kate Spade’s death, her foundation fulfills $1 million mental health pledgeUSA Today
June 5, 2019
The Kate Spade New York Foundation was created by Kate Spade New York after the suicide death of its founder, Kate Spade, last year. It has been one year since Kate Spade died by suicide, and the foundation has since reached its goal of raising $1 million to support mental health services. The JED Foundation and Crisis Text Line are two organizations who will benefit from the funds raised. 

Roy Jeffs, Who Spoke Out Against His Father, Infamous Polygamous Leader Warren Jeffs, Dies at 26TIME
June 4, 2019
Roy Jeffs, 26, an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse, has died by suicide. Jeffs shared his own story of the physiological and sexual abuse he experienced as a child by his father, Warren Jeffs. Warren Jeffs was the leader of a polygamous-sect, and is serving a life sentence in prison for sexual assault. “I know (Roy’s) whole goal was to bring the family together and be more kind to each other in a more loving world,” said Rachel Jeffs, Roy’s sister, who has publicly said her father sexually abused her as well. “I know he just wanted everyone to be happy.”

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