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New outpatient centre in Montreal helps teens in suicidal crisisMontreal Gazette
March 18, 2022
The Specialized Centre for Adolescent Mental Health (Le SPOT), is a new outpatient centre in Montreal for adolescents who have thought about or attempted suicide. The centre, an initiative of the Montreal Children’s Hospital, will open on Monday. Young people who present to the hospital emergency department for suicidal behaviour, but who are assessed as being safe to leave the hospital, will be referred to le SPOT and seen there within 48 hours. “We want to make sure that those who are not receiving services will now receive services quickly,” said Dr. Martin Gignac, chief of the department of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Le SPOT will be for those who are experiencing a psycho-social crisis and not a psychiatric crisis. “There is a distinction between psycho-social crisis and psychiatric crisis. In a psycho-social crisis, people need help, but the difficulty can be addressed by addressing psycho-social factors, environmental factors — a particular event. We can adjust things at school or at home,” explains Gignac. Youth will receive intensive individual and group psycho-social and multi-dimensional therapy for up to 12 weeks, and will be seen by a multi-disciplinary team. They’ll learn about social skills, problem solving, emotional regulation, and family communication. They continue to attend school during their stay, but on an augmented schedule.

Suicide-by-Firearm Decedents (More) Likely to Have Sought HelpPhysicians Weekly
March 18, 2022
**Method warning, Content warning – use of the word ‘commit’** A new US study has found that people who die by suicide by firearm (approximately 50% of suicides in the US) are more likely to seek help prior to their attempt and they’re less likely to have a previous suicide attempt. “The finding that firearm suicide decedents were more likely to disclose their suicidal thoughts or plans provides an important avenue for prevention,” the authors write.

Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Net Finally Nearing CompletionSFist
March 15, 2022
The suicide barrier on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. “We’re beginning to see that it’s going to be completed, and we’re hoping that it will get deaths down to zero,” said Paul Muller, president of the Bridge Rail Foundation. Over 1,800 people have died by suicide at the bridge since its opening in 1937.

Following suicides and lawsuits, Snapchat restricts apps building on its platform with new policiesTech Crunch
March 17, 2022
Snapchat has been sued multiple times in relation to youth suicide, and the platform has since announced that they are banning anonymous messaging apps and restricting ‘friend-finding’ apps, both of which have facilitated online bullying in the past. “As a platform that works with a wide range of developers, we want to foster an ecosystem that helps apps protect user safety, privacy and well-being while unlocking product innovation for developers and helping them grow their businesses,” a Snap spokesperson said in reference to the policy updates. “We believe we can do both, and will continue to regularly evaluate our policies, monitor app compliance, and work with developers to better protect the well-being of our community.” It’s argued that there are more changes the app could make to increase safety, such as by introducing parental controls.

‘She had a big heart’: family and friends remember young mental health advocate for her passion to help othersCTV News
March 17, 2022
Kristin Legault-Donkers, 25, a mental health advocate in the community of St. Thomas, Ontario, has died by suicide. She’s being remembered by loved ones for her advocacy work. “She was very kind and passionate about making a difference in mental health,” said Antonette Lane, a family friend. Legault-Donkers struggled with depression and Bipolar Disorder following the death of her mother and also experienced suicide attempts.”When I heard of Kristin’s passing my heart broke because of all these years she’s been crying out, pleading, being an advocate for so many people,” said friend Saidat Abari-Vandenberg. “Over the years I began to see the beauty of not only Kristin wanting to help others but being able to also be so vulnerable about her own journey.”

Fighting anti-trans legislation is suicide preventionNC Policy Watch
March 16, 2022
In this article, responding to anti-trans legislation in some US states, a transgender person discusses the importance of fighting this legislation through the lens of their personal experiences as well as through research and statistics. Author Lazarus Nance Letcher says, “Those of us living at the intersection of multiple oppressed identities, especially Black transgender youth, experience higher rates of suicidal ideation and attempts than our cisgender Black peers and with much fewer culturally competent resources available than our white trans siblings. (A study) found a very clear way to bring these alarming statistics down. Trans youth that were able to simply go by their chosen or affirmed name and pronouns experienced: 71% fewer symptoms of severe depression, a 34% decrease in suicidal ideation, and a 65% decrease in suicide attempts.” Learn more about transgender people and suicide prevention in our toolkit.

OHSU researchers find startling increase in suicide attempts by pre-teen children nationwideOHSU News
March 15, 2022
New research has shown that in the past decade in the US, youth 10-12 are attempting suicide 5 times more often than previously. “This study highlights a need for better early identification of youth with mental health needs, especially given the new, added stressor of the pandemic,” says co-author Adrienne Hughes, M.D. “The association between youth mental health and social media has been highlighted in recent research, and our study demonstrates the need for further research to better understand which factors may be contributing to this concerning trend.”

Treating Depression and Preventing Suicide: The Impact of mHealth AppsPsychiatric Times
March 14, 2022
This article examines the impact of mental health apps. As of 2019, there were over 250,000 mental health apps worldwide, and they’re one of the fastest-growing categories of apps. There is no standardized review process to evaluate these apps for accuracy of information and current rating systems are based on user ratings. The author of this article identifies some issues with using mental health apps, including that, without prior recommendation, patients are most likely to use the best user-rated app, which may not be evidence-based.

Carson Kressley reflects on former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst’s ‘devastating’ death by suicide: ‘She had the world at her feet’ Entertainment Insider
March 12, 2022
TV personality Carson Kressley is speaking out about the suicide death of his friend and former co-host Cheslie Kryst, who died by suicide on January 30. “To get that news was really devastating because I loved working with her,” Kressley said. “What’s so shocking is that she seemed like she was in a great place. She had the world at her feet. She had everything you think people would want, but yet, she was struggling with depression, and apparently struggling quite privately with it.” Kryst’s mother April Simpkins shared in an Instagram post following her death that Kryst had high functioning depression and hid it from “everyone — including me, her closest confidant — until very shortly before her death.” Kressley says, “The only possible positive thing that can come about it is that it’s going to spur conversations about mental illness, and mental health, and depression, and how we can help people struggling with depression, how we can get better access to mental healthcare when people need it, and how we can reach out and make sure that we’re checking on people.”

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