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Drummond: It’s time to talk about dementia, firearms and suicideOttawa Citizen
March 20, 2023
**Method warning** This opinion piece by Dr. Alan Drummond discusses the association between dementia, gun ownership, and suicide. In the US, firearms are the most common method of suicide for people with dementia, and dementia itself may be a risk factor for suicide. Drummond explains, “a suicidal crisis is often temporary, and most people who attempt suicide never repeat it. In fact, more than 90 per cent of people who survive a suicide attempt do not go on to die by suicide; the prevalent myth of method substitution is unfounded. Thus, the ability to restrict access to firearms for those who are contemplating suicide will save lives.” Drummond suggests that, just as driver’s licenses are revoked from those who are no longer able to drive safely, guns should be removed from the homes of those experiencing dementia. The opinion piece goes on to explore some methods of gun control that could be helpful in preventing suicide in Canada. Drummond concludes, “It is time to begin a national conversation of our aging population, dementia and firearm access. This means increasing public and professional awareness of the risks of firearms and dementia.”

Sounding The Alarm: Firefighters Remain More Likely To Die By Suicide Than On DutyForbes
March 19, 2023
In the US, firefighters die by suicide a double the rate of the general population. They experience increased levels of occupational stress that can lead to PTSD, depression, burnout, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. They are repeatedly exposed to traumatic situations, work long hours, and may be dissuaded from seeking help if they are working in a culture of ‘toughness.’ Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation says, “It is incumbent upon us to redouble our efforts to end the silence and eradicate the stigma surrounding the mental health of first responders.” Jeff Dill, CEO of  Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, says, “One of our goals is to ensure, through behavioral health workshops and providing resources, that our brothers and sisters have a great career, but a better retirement.”

Repetitive negative thinking during low mood linked to suicidal thoughts – new study
University of Birmingham
March 16, 2023
A new UK study into the risk factors associated with suicide in youth has found that, of the 67 young people involved in the study, those who tended to ruminate on negative thoughts were more likely to have more intense thoughts of suicide ideation. Lead researcher Dr. Maria Dauvermann said, “We found evidence that increased levels of rumination predicted increased levels of suicidal thoughts. This was the most significant finding in the study and – although only a preliminary finding – it provides a promising benchmark from which to investigate this area further and could lead to new treatment methods for young people with major depressive disorders.”

54% of firearm deaths in the US are from suicide – and easy access to a gun is a key risk factorThe Conversation
March 16, 2023
More than half of firearm deaths in the US in 2021 were due to suicide according to new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Firearms are the most common method of suicide in the US and these deaths have increased. Men and veterans are a particular high risk of having access to and experience with this method, and alcohol use contributes to the likelihood of death by suicide using this method. Storing firearms safety has been found to be an important suicide prevention strategy, as it reduces the risk of suicide within the home. 

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