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:

4 misconceptions about medically-assisted death in CanadaCBC 
May 30, 2017
It has been one year since Bill C-14, which decriminalized medical assistance in dying (MAiD), was passed. This CBC article tackles some of the misconceptions surrounding MAiD, including, “suicide is already legal in Canada, so we don’t need MAiD.” Centre for Suicide Prevention’s Physician-Assisted Death and Suicide infographic is cited, highlighting the differences between the two acts. MAiD and suicide are different for many reasons, including the fact that MAiD is planned and thought out, while suicide is “often impulsive, violent and carried out alone.” MAiD gives the patient’s family time to say goodbye, while suicide is devastating for the victim’s family.

Preventing suicideBreakfast TV Calgary
May 29, 2017
Mara Grunau, Executive Director, and Fundraiser Mark Skowron were on Breakfast TV last week to talk about an upcoming fundraiser for the Centre, and why suicide prevention is so important. We’re honoured to be the recipient charity for the Evan Skowron Memorial Golf Tournament Fundraiser for a second year in a row. Click here if you’re interested in registering for this tournament, happening June 9.

Living With Giants film raises concern among Inuit over treatment of suicide CBC
June 3, 2017
A public screening of multiple award-winning documentary Living With Giants, set to take place in Kuujjuaq, Quebec, was cancelled due to the concerns of the Inuit community. The documentary follows the life of Paulusie Kasudluak, a young Inuk man who dies by suicide. The film was directed by Montreal filmmakers, who are being criticized for treating the suicide death of Kasudluak like a “plot twist in a way to shock people.” The film is also being criticized for its lack of context and recognition of the complexity of suicide. Angry Inuk documentary maker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril said, “I just think that is irresponsible and it’s not just the unexpected nature of the death in the film but the total lack of context, the total lack of discussion about what contributes to that kind of situation.”

Former jurors who suffered PTSD call for federal government supportCTV
May 31, 2017
Former jurors who now experience PTSD as a result of the trials they were exposed to spoke to the federal government last Tuesday to ask for the creation of national supports for Canadians who perform jury duty.The NDP spoke alongside the former jurors, and support their request.

Calgary police host new addictions clinic for city’s homelessCBC
May 31, 2017
Thanks to an Alberta Health Services and Calgary Police initiative, Calgary will be home to the Cross Roads Centre, a mental health and addictions treatment clinic for homeless Calgarians, and there are “few other facilities like it in North America.” Staff Sgt. Frank Cattoni says the idea for the clinic came when he and his staff realized that many of their homeless clients were coping with trauma-related issues and mental health concerns by self-medicating with street drugs. “So that creates some very complex people that have complex health issues and so we’re trying to take a different stance,” Cattoni said. “Instead of looking at this population through a justice lens, we need to look at it through a health lens.”

Who heals the healer?University of Toronto Medical Magazine
May 30, 2017
Doctors are at a high risk of burnout, depression, and suicide. It’s estimated that two doctors die by suicide every month in Canada, and that 1 in 3 medical residents has symptoms of depression. This in-depth article explores why, how doctors are affected, and what can be done. The “culture of medicine” has long stigmatized help-seeking: “We’ve seen a lot of good growth, some incredible gains over the last 20 years right across society,” says Dr. Derek Puddester, an associate professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa, “But there is still a lot of stigma in the house of medicine.”

Japan’s suicide rate is finally falling, thanks to preventative measuresNewsweek
May 30, 2017
Japan is seeing a decrease in their suicide rate, which is high when compared to other industrialized nations at 19.5 per 100,000 as opposed to 11.3 in Canada and 7.5 in the UK. A report was released by the Japanese Health Ministry attributing the decrease to preventative measures taken in recent years, however, Dr. Takeshima, Director of the Japanese Centre for Suicide Prevention at the National Institute of Mental Health argues that more is yet to be done: “We are behind in suicide prevention activities for the younger generation. We need to strengthen support for youth by improving their educational and working environments.”

Demand for youth mental health services is exploding. How universities and business are scrambling to reactToronto Star
May 29, 2017
The Toronto Star and Ryerson School of Journalism have conducted an investigation into the heightened demand for mental health services for youth, and found that many institutions have experienced an increase. There is no one reason for the increased demand, but experts speculate that factors like the competitive job market, changes in parenting styles, the use of social media and “the world of 24/7 internet” may have played a part.

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