Weekly News Roundup – Nov 14 – 19, 2017
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:
New Resource: Fact sheets about suicide – Centre for Suicide Prevention
November 20, 2017
We’re excited to announce the release of three new suicide fact sheets: Bullying and suicide, Injury prevention and suicide, and Trauma-informed care and suicide. These fact sheets were done in collaboration with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention with financial contribution from Health Canada. They provide a quick overview including definitions, statistics, and other must-know info about the topics they cover.
International Men’s Day sparks conversation about mental health – Teen Vogue
November 19, 2017
Sunday was International Men’s Day, and this year mental health organizations took the day as an opportunity to discuss men’s mental health and suicide and to encourage men to seek help for their issues. Men are 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than women, and face stigma when seeking help due to societal expectations of masculinity. Learn more about men and suicide with our toolkit.
Losing a child to suicide is devastating. Schools can help prevent these tragedies – Guardian
November 18, 2017
About 200 schoolchildren are confirmed to have died by suicide in the UK each year, and that number could actually be much higher. Due to the requirement of identifying that a death is suicide “beyond reasonable doubt,” many suicide deaths are not being reported as such. UK non-profit Papyrus is urging the Department of Justice to change this standard to one of recording a suicide death based on a “balance of probabilities.” Learn more about children and suicide in our toolkit on the subject.
Gruesome testimony, paltry pay: MPs to study jurors’ mental health, financial needs – CBC
November 16, 2017
The Justice Committee will begin a groundbreaking study on the impact of jury duty on mental health and PTSD, hoping to determine what specialized services, funding, and new policies could be implemented to better protect the mental health of jurors.”The main thing we need to do is make sure people who serve on juries have the proper support that they need afterward; that it doesn’t cost them money when they’ve served Canada and their communities,” said Liberal MP and justice committee chair Anthony Housefather. “They shouldn’t have to go broke to pay for psychiatrists or psychologists after they’ve served on a jury.”
Yedlin: George Gosbee’s death a devastating reminder of mental health effects – Calgary Herald
November 15, 2017
The death of George Gosbee, a prominent figure in Calgary’s business community, has many reflecting on the significance of breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health and changing our attitudes towards masculinity and success. “You are raised and told you are not supposed to have such feelings as a man. If you feel different, or feel off, chances are you are going to be shamed, so you don’t talk about it. If you feel you are going to be taken advantage of, or passed over and hurt in other ways at work — the easiest thing to do is to not talk about it and suppress it, which will lead to depression for many,” says Tom Budd, a retired Calgary investment banker and survivor of suicide loss.
Fatality inquiry underway for Edmonton soldier who died by suicide – Edmonton Journal
November 15, 2017
Lt. Shawna Rogers died by suicide five years ago, and a fatality inquiry that began last week is investigating her death. The court heard a psychiatrist’s testimony that Rogers had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder relating to a chronic pain disorder caused by an injury sustained during a military exercise. “The family is hopeful airing the tragic circumstances that led to the woman’s death will spur provincial court Judge Susan Richardson to make recommendations for more effective care,” says the article.
Study suggests screen time might take a big toll on teen mental health – Mashable
November 15, 2017
A recent study has contributed to the debate about whether or not using social media negatively affects the mental health of teens. Last Monday a study was released that found a link between increased screen time and depressive symptoms and suicide in teenage girls.
“It’s simple – We’re going to use data to stop suicide. Just that” – Access AI
November 15, 2017
Peter Trainor, London-based designer and co-founder of artificial intelligence company US.ai, is working to help mental health charities identify and assist those in need of mental health help. SU, a conversational agent that provides treatment to mental health sufferers via text, was tested by a small group of men in the UK in partnership with suicide prevention organizations and it was found that “a lot of the men these charities were trying to have conversations with didn’t actually want to speak to a person – they were happy to speak, they had things they needed to say, but they didn’t want to speak to a human,” Trainor said. The system also found it was able to obtain information that real-life counsellors didn’t. “We were not gonna save a life with a piece of AI,” Trainor said. “We were gonna save a life by giving the people, the humans, more information and data than they had without it.”
In the western US, considering the altitude-suicide relationship – Undark
November 14, 2017
This article investigates the correlation between higher suicide rates in locations of higher altitude levels. Previous studies have shown a correlation, and this investigation found that “For every increase of 100 meters in altitude, suicide rates increase by 0.4 per 100,000.” It’s suggested that this may be due to the effects of a deficiency in oxygen being delivered to the body which may reduce amounts of serotonin. However, without further clinical study authors said that “it is difficult to pin down exactly what biological mechanism is affected by altitude.”
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