Why Conrad Roy’s Mom Is Fighting to Make Suicide Coercion a Crime: ‘I Want My Son to Be Proud of Me’ People
March 24, 2022
In 2014 Conrad Roy III, 18, died by suicide and in 2017, his former girlfriend Michelle Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced 15 months in prison for sending Roy text messages on the day he died that urged him to kill himself. Now Roy’s mother, Lynn St. Denis, is advocating for new legislation, dubbed ‘Conrad’s Law,’ that would criminalize suicide coercion. Currently, 42 states have a similar law, but not Massachusetts, where Roy died. “With this tragedy, my son would want me to help other people, other families,” says St. Denis. “If we get the law passed — when we do — that’s going to be a win for me, for him,” she says.

Northern B.C. MP condemns slow progress on 988 suicide prevention hotlineAlaska Highway News
March 24, 2022
Cariboo – Prince George MP Todd Doherty says that the approval process for a 3-digit number to access the Canadian national crisis line (1-833-456-4566) has been slow. After unanimous support in the House of Commons, implementation was passed along to the CRTC, which has just completed its process of collecting public comments on March 17, 9 months after the process began. “We are at 466 days since the motion passed December 11th of 2020 and if we use the stats that we know about, 11 Canadians die by suicide per day. That’s 5,126 Canadians who’ve died by suicide,” said Doherty. The CRTC says they have received 254 public submissions. “Now that the public record has closed, we are analyzing the comments and evidence that were submitted during the consultation. We do not have a timeline for the decision at this point yet,”said a spokesperson from CRTC.

Despite Pandemic-Era Drop, Suicide Threat RemainsUS News
March 23, 2022
There has been a decline in suicide rates in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, questions are being raised about the pandemic’s long-term effects, as one survey from June 2020 showed that the number of respondents reporting suicide ideation doubled from what was being reported in 2018. In a follow-up survey conducted in September 2020, 12% of respondents reported having thought about suicide in the past month. “We did see a lot of the things that we would consider as risk factors for suicide – job loss, financial instability, interpersonal violence – things like that,” says Colleen Carr, director of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. “There was and still is a real concern about what impact the pandemic will have on suicide.”

Suicide Biomarkers to Predict Risk and Related Factors
Physician’s Weekly
March 22, 2022
A new study is highlighting the past 5 years of research on suicide-associated biomarkers and identified those that encompass different suicidal behaviours. Study authors say, “Serotonin, inflammation, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, lipids, and endocannabinoids emerged as the most promising diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic markers. The importance of diagnostic and predictive biomarkers, especially in suicide prevention, cannot be overstated. While larger-scale studies and more in-depth studies were needed, the previous 5 years of research found critical biomarkers that might ultimately enhance prediction techniques, aid diagnostics, and aid in the development of future treatment targets.”

GN boosts services for transgender and non-binary NunavummiutNunatsiaq News
March 18, 2022
The Government of Nunavut has announced that they will pay for mental health services and transition treatments for transgender and non-binary Nunavummiut. “The Department of Health is committed to providing medically necessary health care that aims to address the mental health of Nunavummiut when it comes to sexual health,” said Health Minister John Main. “Transition-related health services are life-saving health care.”
Learn more about how suicide can be prevented among transgender people.
Related – GN transgender, non-binary health services a positive step: LGBTQ organizationNunatsiaq News

High suicide rates in American Indian/Alaska Native veteransEurekAlert!
March 18, 2022
A recent study has found that, in the past 20 years, there has been a 150% increase in the rates of suicide among American Indian/Alaska Native veterans.”When considering suicide disparities experienced by AI/AN people, it is critical to acknowledge the role of historical trauma and persistent structural inequities in creating and maintaining the disparity,” say study author Dr. Nathaniel Mohatt, of the Veteran’s Affairs Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center for Suicide Prevention and colleagues. “Reducing suicide deaths among AI/AN veterans will require careful attention to culture-specific risk and protective factors and tailoring VHA suicide prevention to meet the needs of AI/AN veterans and their communities.”

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