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:

Christmas Fund: Centre for Suicide Prevention aims to help men help a buddyCalgary Herald
November 28, 2018
Centre for Suicide Prevention hopes to bring suicide prevention and awareness to Calgary workplaces in an effort to reach middle-aged men, who have the highest risk of suicide in the general population. Stephen Hansen, former manager of safety for Calgary Transit, who brought suicide prevention workshops to the organization, talked about the benefits of training. “People who have the ASIST training … not only know how to deal with individuals who may be thinking about suicide, but also are in the position to support front line employees who experience this kind of situation themselves,” Hansen said. “We were able to offer people two things: language and licence. Language to be able to speak about what it was they were experiencing, but also the licence to raise issues or concerns.”

Why Are Taxi Drivers in New York Killing Themselves? New York Times
December 2, 2018
*Method warning*  Roy Kim, 58, is the 8th New York City taxi driver who has died by suicide this year. While there is generally more than one reason a person dies by suicide, Kim’s friend Kyung Ryong, another taxi driver, said: “There’s no other reason but the financial aspect… It was harder and harder to survive.” Financial hardship in an increasingly competitive transportation market seem to be an underlying theme in the recent suicides. “This tragedy underscores the importance of finding new ways for government, the industry and lenders to work in unity to address the financial challenges that are weighing so heavily on our licensees,” said the city’s taxi commissioner, Meera Joshi.

Opinion: Can We Stop Suicides?New York Times
November 30, 2018
This article discusses the rising suicide rate in the US, and the potential of the drug ketamine, which has been used to treat depression, in treating patients who are suicidal.

Why the global suicide rate is fallingEconomist
November 30, 2018
Global suicide rates have dropped by 29% since 2000. Three populations around the world who have historically high rates of suicide have seen significant decreases: young women in China and India, middle-aged men in Russian, and older people around the world. Policies and improved social status are suggested as reasons to why the suicide rate has dropped.

U.S. life expectancy falls, driven by suicides and drug overdosesThe Hill
November 29, 2018
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report has found that life expectancy in the US is being brought down by the significant numbers of people dying by suicide and overdose. The US suicide rate has increased by 33% since 1999. There are 14 suicide deaths per 100,000, and 70,373 people died from a drug overdose in 2017.

Vision for new child and adolescent mental health centre unveiledCalgary Herald
November 29, 2018
Last week, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and Alberta Health Services unveiled their vision for the new Calgary Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, which is set to open in Fall 2021.

Suicide is one of the nation’s top killers. When will we start acting like it?USA Today
November 28, 2018
This article is one of many that are part of USA Today’sSurviving Suicide” investigative series. As mentioned in the Economist’s Why suicide is falling around the world, and how to bring it down more, globally, suicide rates are going down, however, in the US, they have seen a 30% increase since 1999. This article seeks to explore why, and the series looks at many different aspects of the issue in general, including how suicide risk can be reduced through safety planning, and what survivors of suicide loss feel after losing a loved one.
If you’ve ever had suicidal thoughts, make a safety plan – USA Today
Suicide kills 45,000 men, women and children a year. Society shrugs. – USA Today
We need to talk about suicide moreUSA Today
NIH and NIMH: We’re deeply committed to reducing suicideUSA Today
Suicide never entered his mind. Then 9/11 happened.USA Today
Young, transgender and fighting a years-long battle against suicidal thoughtsUSA Today
She worked in suicide prevention. Then one day she had to save herself.USA Today
Suicide prevention: Self-care tips, true stories on how survivors copeUSA Today
Stepping back from the edgeUSA Today *Method warning*
After a suicide, here’s what happens to the people left behindUSA Today
Whispering about suicide won’t solve the problemUSA Today

Cancer diagnosis tied to increased suicide riskReuters
November 28, 2018
A new analysis of data on over 4.7 million patients in the UK diagnosed with cancer between 1995 and 2015 has found that those patients had a 20% higher risk of dying by suicide compared to those without a cancer diagnosis. “We found suicide risk to be highest in the first six months after diagnosis,” said senior study author Dr. Alexandra Pitman of University College London. “We also identified four tumors that stood out in terms of greatest risk.” Patients with pancreatic cancer were 3.9 times more likely to die by suicide, while patients with tumors of the esophagus, lung cancer, or stomach cancers were 2 times more likely.

In wake of suicides, bereaved Nunavik father calls for better crisis careNunatsiaq News
November 27, 2018
Bobby May lost daughter Natalie Ittulak May, 22, a few months ago to suicide. May is now speaking out about the care his daughter received while in hospital, and the lack of follow-up care after she was released. “The problem is here [in Kuujjuaq], if you’re suicidal, police will sometimes take you to the hospital where you’re kept under observation,” May said. “They keep you a few days, and then the doctor will assess if you’re OK to leave. And that’s it.”

Graduate School Can Have Terrible Effects on People’s Mental HealthAtlantic
November 27, 2018
This article discusses the major stressors experienced by students in graduate programs, including intense labour expectations for little pay, the hierarchy of academia, and the stress of entering a competitive job market. Harvard-affiliated researchers conducted a survey of 500 economics PhD candidates at eight elite universities and found that 1 in 10 students reported having suicidal thoughts on or at least several days within the past two weeks.

‘I don’t want to die’: 5 years on, inquest into Mountie’s suicide to beginGlobal
November 25, 2018
An inquest into the suicide death of Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre, the RCMP officer responsible for media relations at the time of the controversial death of Robert Dziekanski, took place last week. At the time of Dziekanski’s death, Lemaitre reported information that turned out to be false, but Lemaitre’s widow, Sheila Lemaitre, alleges that once the facts emerged in the RCMP investigation, Lemaitre wanted to report the updated information but was kept silent by the RCMP. He pushed back, but was then demoted significantly. Lemaitre was diagnosed with PTSD, and six years later, he died by suicide. “What can be done and what needs to be done still to help change the culture and change the climate?” asks Andy Watson, spokesman for the coroner’s office. “There have been changes since the death happened … We need to take a look at what further things need to be done.”
Related: B.C. coroner’s jury recommends better mental-health assessments after RCMP sergeant’s suicideGlobe and Mail

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