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‘Know that you aren’t alone’: N.L. launches 5-year suicide-prevention plan CBC
June 2, 2022
Newfoundland and Labrador have released a five-year suicide prevention plan for the province, Our Path to Resilience. There are 12 actions outlined in the plan along with $2.5 million in funding in 2022 and $4.5 million in the four years following. “Suicide is a complex public health issue, and it affects people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity or race,” said Health Minister John Haggie. “Our province has come a long way in improving the quality and availability of mental health and addictions services over the past several years, and yet we know there is still a lot to do.” Labrador’s suicide rate can be as much as four times that of Newfoundland’s and is even higher in Inuit communities on Labrador’s north coast. “I know many families, including my own, who have lost loved ones to suicide. This has been a sad reality for both Innu communities of Sheshatshiu and Natuashsish as well for the other Indigenous communities in this province,” said Anastasia Qupee, chair of the Indigenous Health team for the province’s mental health and addictions action plan. Tina Davies lost son Richard to suicide in 1995. She says, “It’s wonderful to know the support is here. To give the message of hope. Because without hope, we’re lost. Know that you aren’t alone.… Nobody is giving up on this.”

Families of college students who died by suicide unite for ‘powerful moment’ of healing Today
May 31, 2022
College athletes Katie Meyer, 22, Arlana Miller, 19, Morgan Rodgers, and Tyler Hilinski, 21, died by suicide recently and their parents are working to help prevent future college athlete suicides. “I think we kind of felt like, if this can happen to Tyler, it can happen to anybody,” says Hilinski’s father Mark. Mother Kym says, “Our athletes really are under so much pressure, and they grind every single day. They’re up at 6:00 a.m., they’re going to practice, they follow that with classes … I don’t think society really sees … the commitment and the sacrifices that all of our athletes make.” Mark and Kym founded Hilinski’s Hope Foundation and Morgan’s parents founded Morgan’s Message; both organizations seek to educate people about mental health. Meyer’s parents created Katie’s Save, a university policy requiring schools to send an email to an ally (chosen by the student) if they are hospitalized for physical injury, prescribed medication for their mental health, or if they’re placed on academic probation, among other situations.

Michael Phelps says teen suicide is one of the things that scares him most as a parent: ‘That extra weight should never be on anybody’s shoulders’ Yahoo! Life
May 31, 2022
Former Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps continues to advocate for mental health and in this article, describes his mental health and recovery journey. As an Olympic athlete, Phelps contemplated suicide and was diagnosed with ADHD and depression. “The ups and the downs? I go through them all the time and they just kind of come and go,” Phelps says. “It’s a part of my everyday life, and I’m always trying to learn more about myself and also how to get through different situations.” Phelps says he focuses on ‘filling his glass’ to maintain his mental health: “I always say that if my glass isn’t completely filled, how am I supposed to fill everyone else’s up? I have a wife. I have three kids. It’s my job to find ways every day to be my best self.” He also explains the identity challenges that come with being a high performance athlete: “For a long time, I looked at myself as an athlete — a swimmer, not a human. Now being able to look in the mirror and not just see some kid who wears a pair of goggles and a swimming cap and puts on a swimsuit, but seeing a dad and a husband and a person, that transformation has been incredible.”

Pediatric suicide attempts by poisoning on the rise, study saysThe Hill
May 31, 2022
**Method warning** Recent research has found that suicide attempts among children involving poisoning have increased sharply from 2015 to 2020 in the US, and girls accounted for 78% of these attempts. One of the study authors and chief of the Division of Medical Toxicology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Christopher Holstege, said, “We need to be vigilant for the warning signs associated with suicide risk in our children. Our study is one of a number that demonstrates that we are experiencing an unprecedented mental health crisis in younger age groups. As a society, we must commit more resources to the mental health needs of our children.”

Why Are More Black Americans (Dying By) Suicide? Forbes
May 27, 2022
**Language warning – use of the word ‘commit’** This year, two prominent Black Americans have died by suicide – Cheslie Kryst, 30, former Miss USA, attorney and entertainment news correspondent, and Ian King Jr., 26, a musician, songwriter and son of actress Regina King. Arlana Miller, 19, a college cheerleader in Louisiana, died by suicide last month. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that although the overall US suicide rate decreased by 3% in 2020, suicide attempts among people of colour and young people increased. Another study found that although Black adults reported thinking about suicide less than in previous years in 2021, suicide attempts were higher in that group than in any other racial or ethnic group. Data also show that suicide is the leading cause of death for Black youth between 15 and 24. This article posits five factors that may be contributing to the increased attempt rate for Black people in the US: Exposure to racism and anti-Blackness; continued exposure to violent crime, violence, and accumulated trauma; social media usage; existing stigma and myths about mental health in the Black community; and untreated mental illness.

How parents can best support LGBTQ+ kids this Pride MonthThe Hill
June 1, 2022
June is Pride Month and LGBTQ+ suicide prevention organization the Trevor Project has released a new research brief outlining how parents and caregivers can support LGBTQ+ youth. Supportive actions have a significant impact on youth: those that felt ‘high social support’ from family reported attempting suicide at half the rate of those who had low or moderate support. Youth report feeling affirmed when their parents educate themselves about LGBTQ+ people and culture, and have open conversations with the young person about LGBTQ+ issues. They also feel supported when parents are kind to their partners or close friends. Transgender, nonbinary, and gender-questioning youth feel affirmed when their parents respect their identity, support their gender expression, use their name and pronouns correctly, and educate themselves about LGBTQ+ issues and culture.

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