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:

Fund captures the spirit of giving to help our most vulnerableCalgary Herald
November 26, 2021
Centre for Suicide Prevention is honoured once again to be included among the 75 organizations featured in the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund. As in 2020, all funds raised will go towards Buddy Up: a suicide prevention campaign that promotes authentic conversations between men and their buddies. Donations can be made directly through the CSP website. All funds donated tomorrow, November 30, Giving Tuesday, will also go directly towards the Buddy Up campaign.

The Military’s Broken Culture Around Sexual Violence and SuicideNew York Times
November 26, 2021
This article examines the relationship between suicide and intense and violent military culture, which often results in toxic relationships between service members and a stigma around help seeking. The suicide death of American Corporal Anne Vassas, 21, a marine, is also examined in the context of the culture and the sexual assaults Vassas experienced leading up to her death. Women who have served in the military are 2.5 times more likely to die by suicide, and sexual assault is associated with an increased risk of suicide and is more likely to lead to PTSD for both men and women when compared to combat. A recent report done for the American military found that people who report sexual assault usually regret reporting the assault to the military because of the backlash they experience. An inquiry into Corporal Vassas’ death showed that an assault she experienced was ignored and she was reprimanded for “being in the wrong barracks.”

Red Deer woman who lost brother to suicide raising money for prevention programs Red Deer Advocate
November 24, 2021
Sharon Reed lost brother Neil Reed, 42, to suicide last year. This year, she’s raising awareness and funds for suicide prevention in memory of Neil. “I’d like to do something positive,” said Reed. In this article, she also describes some of her grief journey.

‘You become numb to it’: Residents of Mayo, Yukon, want state of emergency declared over substance use deaths CBC
November 23, 2021
Mayo, Yukon has been experiencing a number of deaths recently from substance use and suicide, and residents are urging the government to declare a state of emergency so supports can be made available. The village’s mayor, Trevor Ellis, says, “We have to be quite pragmatic about what the village can do. We need a lot more mental health, drug and alcohol workers in the community … but it’s difficult to find those people to come to a community like Mayo.”

A teenager was a suicide risk – and then the pandemic happenedGuardian
November 22, 2021
This article tells the story of Tony Luna, a teenager diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who struggled with suicidal thoughts, and his mental health supports before and during COVID-19. Luna died by suicide during the pandemic, though he received telehealth supports throughout. Luna’s counsellor Paul Jamison said, “I don’t know if doing sessions on telehealth really made that much of a difference in his care. Overall I think we can connect with clients better when we can see them, when we are in the same room with them.” The article documents in parallel the efforts of Luna’s non-profit care provider, Centerstone, to transition to virtual care during the pandemic.

Strategies for managing suicidal ideation and reducing riskAmerican Medical Association
November 22, 2021
In this presentation made by Dr. Christine Yu Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Dr. Cori Green, a pediatrician, Yu Moutier explains the importance of suicide-screening and prevention efforts, while Dr. Green describes how she implemented these efforts into her practice as a pediatrician.

Sister shares ‘honest’ story of brother who died by suicide as focus turns to men’s mental healthCBC
November 16, 2021
Brian Mitchell, 35, died by suicide in October, and his sister, Erin Mitchell, is sharing his story. In his obituary, Mitchell wrote, “Stories like Brian’s should not be ignored.” Mitchell says, “We wanted to be as honest about this as possible because Brian struggled for a long time. There’s probably so many other families and friends who have a loved one in a very similar situation.” Mitchell shares about the family’s journey, “There are so many sleepless nights, so many times that you’re afraid and so many times that you call the police. And the only thing that you can do is take him down to the CMHA [Canadian Mental Health Association] office, if he’ll go with you.”

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