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:

PTSD, suicide and first responders – A lot of talk, and not much progressGlobal
November 26, 2017
The Tema Conter Memorial Trust estimates that so far, in 2017, 52 first responders have died by suicide in Canada. First responders have high rates of PTSD, which, when co-occuring with other disorders such as alcohol use disorder, can greatly increase suicide risk. Natalie Harris, a former paramedic who took leave of the job after being diagnosed with PTSD, didn’t realize how much her job took a toll on her mentally until she overdosed on drugs: “I never thought that this would happen to me. It turned into an overdose before I realized how sick that I was.” Harris is now an advocate for first responders with PTSD.

Is being a chef bad for your mental health?Guardian
November 26, 2017
Chefs are often overworked in high-pressure environments, and this takes a toll on their mental health. A survey of chefs in London found that many worked long hours (between 48-60 hours a week), over 1/4 drank during their shifts, and 56% took painkillers. 50% said they suffered from depression due to overwork. Chef Andrew Clarke posted last year to social media, recalling the year before when he had experienced major depression. The post went viral, gaining hundreds of likes. The caption for the picture Clarke posted read: “Inside I was suffering from a pain so extreme that I could barely cope … I hated who I was and wanted to kill myself every time I came home from work … I never believed in depression and only ever saw the world in a positive light. But it’s not until you experience it, that you realise just how real it is.” Some kitchens are working on becoming better work environments by doing things like reducing work hours, increasing wages, and hiring more diverse groups of people to help change kitchen culture.

Teenagers are growing more anxious and depressedEconomist 
November 23, 2017
A newly released study has shown that over the past 10 years, the number of American kids and teens admitted to hospital for suicidal ideation has doubled, and the suicide rate for teens aged 15 to 19 years old increased by one third for boys and more than doubled for girls. The study suggests the reason for the increase is linked to the hours young people spend on their phones.

Suicide rates increase for Quebec farmers as pressures mountHuffPost
November 23, 2017
Rudy Ducreux, a farmer and cheese maker in Quebec, died by suicide last December. Farmers in general are at higher risk of suicide due to the precarious nature of their work, and a study done 30 years ago in Quebec found that men who farm have double the suicide rate of men who work in other industries. This article explains why cheese makers in particular face high pressure and mental stress due to the grueling nature of their work: “It’s three professions in one,” explains Charles Trottier, co-owner of the region’s Fromagerie Des Grondines. He’s referring to the fact that cheese makers need to care for their cows, maintain sanitary conditions, and package, distribute, and sell their products. “And that’s not counting stress related to the weather, since the farm is an open-air factory, to produce feed and grain to keep the cows fed.”

Don’t be afraid to talk about people who’ve died by suicide HuffPost
November 23, 2017
This blog post offers tips on how you can help someone who has lost a loved one to suicide. Tips include things like simply being there for that person, and telling stories to remember and honour the person who died.

Calgary fire captain’s death shines a light on first responders struggling with mental healthGlobal 
November 21, 2017
Calgary firefighter Barry Dawson, 47, died by suicide Nov. 11. His fiancée, Melissa Murray, is speaking out in an attempt to bring awareness to the struggles faced, like Dawson, by many first responders and encourage them to seek help. “There’s no doubt in my mind that there are many of our colleagues in EMS and police and fire that are struggling with mental health issues and anxiety. I just plead with them to set aside reputation and fears and the ‘suck it up factor,’ and get help,” said Murray, who is a paramedic.

Netflix’s glorification of suicide will lead to more youth deathsToronto Star
November 21, 2017
Mark Sinyor is a suicide contagion researcher at the University of Toronto, and in this piece he calls Netflix out for promoting harmful messages about youth suicide. Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why  goes against all media guidelines regarding the depiction of suicide, guidelines of which are in place to prevent contagion and triggering effects. Sinyor asks: “Why does Netflix choose to take a stand against sexual misconduct while simultaneously renewing a series that targets vulnerable viewers with harmful messages about suicide?”

Campaign tackles effects of stress on kids as young as 6CBC
November 21, 2017
Ottawa Public Health launched a new campaign that aims to raise awareness of the mental health issues children face. We know that, like adults, children face many stressors in their daily lives, and in extreme cases may even attempt or die by suicide. This program will help caregivers recognize the signs of mental stress in children and help them become resilient and develop positive coping strategies for their stress.

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