Weekly News Roundup May 6 – May 12, 2023
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Why suicide rates are dropping around the world – Wired UK
May 12, 2023
**Method warning**Between 1990 and 2016 suicide rates dropped greatly in the two most populous countries in the world, China and India. A lot of this reduction can be attributed to less access to pesticides, the most popular method of suicide in this part of the world. Similarly, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have seen reductions in their suicide rates, 70 and 65 per cent, respectively. These lower rates are mirrored in other low to medium income countries, where 80 per cent of the world’s suicides occur. However, one high-income country, the United States, has seen a rise in their suicide rate of 35 per cent. In their case, the rise can be partly attributed to ease of firearm access, which accounts for almost half of all suicide deaths in the U.S. This piece in Wired investigates this association between access to means and suicide.
Jury at Moses Beaver inquest backs investment in mental health support at prisons – Globe and Mail
May 12, 2023
Moses Beaver was an Indigenous artist from Nibinamik First Nation who died by suicide in a Thunder Bay jail cell in February 2017. His death prompted a month-long inquest, which is currently underway. The jury at the inquest has tabled a number of recommendations, including “expansion of mental health transport teams to make sure those in crisis are taken to hospital when needed”, “the creation of a mental health unit at a new city jail” and the need for “all stakeholders working with members of remote First Nations should be required to fulfill informed trauma training” among several others.
Toronto police reviewing sudden deaths for links to man charged in lethal product sale – Globe and Mail
May 10, 2023
Police forces in Toronto and in other jurisdictions are reviewing cases of “sudden deaths” to examine if there are any links to Kenneth Law, an Ontario man accused of selling a lethal substance online to people at risk of suicide and self-harm. Law, 57, has been arrested “with two counts of counselling or aiding suicide after investigating two recent deaths in the area”. Police In Toronto, Durham (east of Toronto), and Regina are among forces reopening death investigations as a result of the charges brought against Mr. Law.
At nearly 9 minutes of sports betting ads per Toronto Maple Leafs game, a new group wants them banned – CBC News
May 9, 2023
Karl Subban, father of former NHL player P.K. Subban as well as two other hockey-playing sons, is concerned about the airtime sports gambling sites are getting during televised hockey games. Mr. Subban, who is a school principal and involved with the Ban for Ads Gambling campaign, is especially opposed to the use of celebrities to endorse gambling. He says that gambling is very addictive and that this type of marketing preys on the most vulnerable of our population, the young, who are greatly influenced by celebrities and athletes. The campaign wants to ban gambling ads and states on their website: “Harms from gambling include financial problems, stress to families, youth and children, mental health issues including addiction and even suicide – among other documented economic and social issues that negatively affect Canadians”.
Saskatchewan developing support program for those experiencing suicide loss – Regina Leader-Post
May 8, 2023
The Saskatchewan government is marking the third anniversary of its suicide prevention strategy, Pillars of Life, by announcing a progress update. They say a number of initiatives will continue, including support of Roots of Hope programs in La Ronge, Meadow Lake, and Buffalo Narrows, and engaging “ with Indigenous partners, including the FSIN, to identify opportunities to advance suicide prevention in Indigenous communities ”, as well as others. A new postvention program will also begin in the new year supporting individuals and families who have experienced suicide loss.
Island Indigenous youth suicide prevention initiative rooted in cultural practices – Victoria News
May 8, 2023
Avis O’Brien, director of N’alaga Consulting, has started a non-clinical, Indigenous-informed Suicide Initiative program at Lake Trail School in the territory of K’omoks First Nation. It runs for 11 weeks and addresses suicide “as a normal human response to carrying the burden of 500 years of attempted and ongoing colonial genocide” he says, instead of “pathologizing” the problem of suicidality within the person.
‘A nightmare I can’t wake up from’: Michigan mom calls for changes after sodium nitrite deaths tied to Canadian – CTV News
May 6, 2023
**Method warning** Tonia Jones, a Michigan mom, is one of a growing number of parents who have lost their children to suicide as a result of sodium nitrite consumption. Ms. Jones lost her son, Anthony, after he ordered the compound from a company run by Missisauga man Kenneth Law, who sells the product on a pro-suicide website. Law is facing charges of aiding and abetting suicide.