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:
‘If I take my life’: Veteran’s suicide over weekend revives calls for ‘epidemic’ to be addressed – Globe and Mail
June 3, 2018
This past weekend, veteran George Curtis, 47, died by suicide after struggling with PTSD and while awaiting residential mental health treatment. “He was the most gentle man you would know. He was big-hearted. He would fight for the underdog. And it was very important to him for people to understand PTSD and mental illness,” said Michelle Allain, Curtis’ former wife. “People need to know there is not enough help in our system for people that suffer from it.”
Deaths by suicide and firearms are rising sharply among kids – Time
June 1, 2018
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US have found that deaths by suicide, homicide, and other means of injury are up among American children. While fewer children died by suicide than accidental injuries in 2016, the rates still rose sharply. Suicide rates dropped 15% from 1999 to 2007, but rose by 56% between 2007 and 2014, and climbed 27% from 2014 to 2016.
Related – Pediatric Research: Education can help reduce youth suicide – The Columbus Dispatch
My dad died by suicide. This is what I wish people wouldn’t say – Bustle
June 1, 2018
This article, written by Sacha Sterling who lost her father, 56, to suicide, outlines what she found helpful, as a survivor of suicide loss, to hear from others, and what she found unhelpful. “What really made a difference was people just saying, ‘I love you. I’m so sorry. If there’s any way I can support you just let me know.’ But some people tried to normalize it too fast. It was like they didn’t know how to meet me in my pain,” she says.
Hospital addressing physician suicide crisis by asking doctors to wear “crazy” socks – Refinery 29
June 1, 2018
In New York City, since January, two female physicians and a female medical student have died by suicide, and their deaths have highlighted the mental illness crisis that impacts physicians. Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, where one physician died by suicide, adopted the “Crazy Socks 4 Docs” initiative, started by an Australian doctor, which is aimed at bringing awareness to doctor’s mental health. However, some hospital staff feel the timing is insensitive, and that more should be done to increase the well being of doctors. “On a day to day basis, nothing has changed. Call rooms are still dismal, administrative tasks are crushing, patient loads often unbearable,” said a physician at the hospital who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
Mother of paramedic found dead after mosque shooting wants more help for PTSD victims – CBC
May 31, 2018
Adréanne Leblanc, 31, a Quebec City paramedic who treated wounded victims after the Jan. 29, 2017 mosque shooting, recently died by suicide. Leblanc’s mother, Lucie Roy, is now advocating for better mental health supports for PTSD to be provided by public health authorities and ambulance operators. “When she did this [took her own life], she wore her paramedic’s uniform,” Roy said. “It was a clear message telling us that she loved her job, but it was difficult.”
‘We’re taking back who we are as people’: Fighting for better mental health among Indigenous youth – CBC
May 31, 2018
We Matter is an Indigenous-led youth suicide awareness and prevention campaign. Indigenous youth are 5 to 6 times more likely to die by suicide than their non-Indigenous peers. Linnea Dick, who works for the campaign, talked about the issue, “I think if I could funnel it into one big thing that really impacted me as a youth, it’s that we’re not given very many opportunities to find ourselves, whether in a rural or urban setting, whether that be the medical system, the education system, in the diversity of recreational activities, it’s just not there [for many Indigenous youth],” said Dick.
Infant mortality, suicide rates worse for Indigenous people, says first national study on health equality – Vancouver Star
May 30, 2018
The first nation-wide study on health inequalities, published by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network, reveals that Indigenous people have significantly poorer health outcomes when it comes to infant mortality and suicide rates. Suicide rates are 6.5 times higher than in the general population in places with a concentration of Inuit people, 3.7 times higher for First Nations people and 2.7 times higher for Métis. “Canadians as a whole enjoy good health if you compare us with other countries, but there are key differences in the health status in different populations,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam. “Everybody in Canada should have equally good health outcomes, but that’s not what we’re seeing.”
The largest health disparity we don’t talk about – The Upshot, New York Times
May 30, 2018
Americans with serious mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder die 15 to 30 years younger than those without mental illness. They’re most likely to die sooner of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and respiratory problems, and they’re more likely to struggle with homelessness, poverty, and social isolation.
Battling depression and suicide among female veterans – NPR
May 29, 2018
American female veterans are 250% more likely to die by suicide than civilian women, and now the military and other groups are taking action, focusing on the transition from military life to civilian life. “The experiences you have on active duty carry with you, and then they manifest as mental wellness challenges as veterans,” said retired Army Col. Ellen Haring, director of research for the advocacy group Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN). “When you’re transitioning out of the service, or when you return from a combat deployment to come back to a stateside demobilization and try to return to family or community, that’s a challenging period.”