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:

Police SuicidesCBC Radio, Up North
May 13, 2021
Ontario NDP MPP France Gélinas would like to amend the Highway Memorials for Fallen Police Officers Act, which was introduced in 2002. The act allows bridges and other structures along Ontario’s provincial highways to be named after fallen police officers. Gélinas would like police officers who have died by suicide to be included in the act.

Chrissy Teigen once bullied a teen on Twitter. It’s an important lesson in suicide prevention.Mashable
May 13, 2021
*Content warning – messages encouraging suicide.* 10 years ago, Courtney Stodden was bullied online by model, TV host, and author Chrissy Teigen when Stodden was a teenager. Teigen suggested to Stodden that she wanted her to die. Teigen apologized to Stodden last week saying, “I’m mortified and sad at who I used to be.” Stodden was in the media a decade ago for marrying acting coach Doug Hutchinson, who was significantly older than them. Stodden says they faced bullying from other celebrities, too. “People came out of the woodwork to beat up on a kid because she was in a situation that she shouldn’t have been in. There were a lot of celebrities acting like playground bullies.” Stodden did, in fact, think about dying by suicide many times throughout their relationship, for a number of reasons. Dr. Julie Cerel, a clinical psychologist and director of the Suicide Prevention and Exposure Lab at the University of Kentucky says that often, young people who attempt suicide do have a bully who tells them to kill themselves, making that one factor of many that may contribute to their attempt. Cerel says, “They don’t really wish each other dead, they just want to hurt them a little because they’re feeling hurt or they’re feeling distress. It’s not a reflection of their actual feelings, it’s just language that’s easily available.” Cerel explains, “When you say something like [kill yourself], it triggers people who are already at risk for thinking they don’t belong, or that they should be here. It can help contribute to that suicide risk.”

Veterinarians more than twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts than other Canadians: studyGlobal News
May 12, 2021
*Terminology warning: Use of the word ‘commit’* According to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) 1 in 5 vets and technologists in Canada report having thought about dying by suicide. The CVMA says that, in a recent survey, 26.2% of Canadian veterinarians had thought of suicide compared to 12.2% of those in the general population. Veterinarian Dr. Michelle Dmytriw says she’s experienced depression. Dmytriw says, “It comes to the point where I say: ‘Do I want to continue in this industry and go forward with an industry that has used me the way it’s used me?’ I wondered if I have to get out of this for my mental health. I can’t go through this because there might be a time I won’t be able to make it through. What we go through as vets is tough and the industry needs to make a change.” Kathy Keil, who is on the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association’s Member Wellness Advisory Committee reminds vets, “You have the right to look after yourself; it’s not selfish. We have to fill up that battery of compassion and self-care so we can provide that care to others.”

‘This is just where I belong’: Drew Robinson’s return to baseball after suicide attempt ESPN
May 12, 2021
Drew Robinson, who plays baseball for the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, just returned to the game following a suicide attempt last year. Robinson lost his right eye in the attempt, but despite the challenges he faces with his sight, he felt he needed to return to baseball. Robinson described his issues with mental illness, “Sometimes in your head it just seems justified to point out that negative moment or point out that mistake, like just really fixate on it. Because you’re in your head, you’re spiraling, but I’ve grown to be so familiar with misery that falling back into those habits feels comfortable. Because it’s where I was and all that I knew.” Since his suicide attempt, Robinson has become an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention, and he says he continues to struggle, “I’m really trying to focus on shortening that window of some bad self-talk that I fall into, getting back to a better, positive perspective and mindset.”

Suicide Among Black Girls Is a Mental Health Crisis Hiding in Plain Sight TIME
May 11, 2021
From 2007 to 2018, suicide rates among young people in the US have increased 57%, and the rate for young girls is increasing as well. From 1991 to 2017, suicide attempts among white children in the US decreased, while attempts for Black children increased. 15% of Black female high school students attempted suicide in 2018. “People who feel marginalized, who don’t feel like their lives are of value, who don’t feel like they are connected in the ways others are connected, are going to be more at risk of suicide,” said Rheeda Walker, who researches African-American mental health and suicide at the University of Houston. “It seems to me, inherently, that when you’re a member of a racial minority group you will, almost, by default, end up in those groups.”

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