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:

Working together to prevent suicide in Canada: the Federal Framework for Suicide PreventionGovernment of Canada
Nov. 24, 2016
Last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) released the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention. Mandated in 2012, the Framework “sets out the Government of Canada’s strategic objectives, guiding principles and commitments in suicide prevention. It focuses on better connections among people, information and resources, as well as research and innovation in order to raise awareness, reduce stigma and prevent suicide.”
Read CSP’s response to the Framework 

Government of Canada supports the development of a national suicide prevention service – Government of Canada
Nov. 24, 2016
The Government has announced that it will support a nation-wide crisis phone, text, and chat line that will be available to all Canadians by late 2017. The line will be available 24/7 and is completely free and anonymous. Health Minister Jane Philpott said the crisis line “will ensure that Canadians of all ages and backgrounds can access the help they need, when they need it, with technology that works for them.”

‘The impact on society is enormous’: In legal profession, depression, addiction hurt clients, tooCBC
Nov. 26, 2016
Research out of the US suggests that lawyers “are at much higher risk of depression, anxiety and substance abuse issues than people in the broader population — and may even be more susceptible than those in other high-stress professions, such as medicine.” Former lawyer and current social worker Doron Gold says, “If there’s stigma in society generally, the stigma is tenfold in the legal profession… This is a group of people who aren’t supposed to have these vulnerabilities. And they’re supposed to be impervious to them.”

Medical marijuana could help end Canada’s veteran suicide crisisHuffington Post Blog
Nov. 25, 2016
Veteran Fabian Henry, who lives with PTSD, has said that medical marijuana significantly helped him deal with his PTSD, and has helped him “avoid stressors that remind him of his most disturbing wartime experiences.” Henry says that “From what I’ve seen and experienced, the anti-depressants and anti-psychotics veterans are given to treat PTSD simply don’t work. They can actually make it worse, and can even trigger suicidal thoughts.” Henry founded a support group for PTSD survivors called Marijuana for Trauma.

The Ripple Effect: Researchers look into impacts of suicide on farming communitiesABC News
Nov. 23, 2016
The Ripple Effect is a website launched 6 months ago that focuses on reducing the stigma surrounding suicide in farming communities. Research has shown that agricultural workers could be twice as likely to die by suicide than the general population. “I am sorry to say that I think everyone in a community like ours … has a relationship with suicide one way or another,” said Tom Dawkins, an ambassador of the Ripple Effect and is Livestock SA southern’s region secretary. “Rural men are tough nuts to crack at the best of times, but especially with matters concerning their own health and wellbeing and that’s why this is such an important project.”

Young adults who drink are more likely to think about suicideOttawa Citizen
Nov. 23, 2016
A new study by the University of Ottawa has found that people between the ages of 18-24 who drink alcohol are more likely to think about suicide than those who do not drink. However, it was only this younger adult age group that was found to have a heightened risk of ideation, as people 24-44 who drink alcohol showed no increase in suicide ideation when compared to those who do not drink. The study will be published in next month’s Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Union video campaign focuses on suicide awareness and preventionCBC
Nov. 23, 2016
You are Not Alone is a campaign by the Alberta Teamster’s Union that focuses on suicide awareness and prevention. Centre for Suicide Prevention is happy to be a part of the campaign; Mara Grunau, Executive Director, is featured in several of the 8 videos that make up the You are Not Alone series.

The Department of National Defence releases the 2016 Surgeon General Report on Suicide Mortality in the Canadian Armed ForcesGovernment of Canada
Nov. 23, 2016
This report looks at annual trends and occurrences of suicide in the military, “so that mental health programs and services can be better aligned to meet the needs of CAF members and their families.”  Hon. Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, said that the military is “working towards a suicide prevention strategy that will identify areas in which to focus further effort.”

18 Canadian Forces members took their own lives in 2015, with army members most at risk CBC
Nov. 23, 2016
The military’s recent report on suicide found that 18 military members died by suicide in 2015 alone. “The suicide rate amongst army personnel is about two to three times higher than it is compared to members who serve in other elements of the Canadian Forces and about 1½-times higher than males in the civilian population,” said Col. Andrew Downes, director of mental health for the Canadian Forces.

Canadian soldiers in combat roles at higher risk for suicide: Military report Globe and Mail
Nov. 23, 2016
A new report released by the military on Wednesday has identified the fact that those in active roles of duty are more at risk of suicide than members who are not. The report also reflects an increase in the suicide rate of those in the military, who have historically had lower rates of suicide than the general population. It seems that those in the army are especially at risk as they have a suicide rate of 34 per 100,000, while those in the navy and arm force has a combined rate of 13.

Canadian military pledges to take action on soldier suicidesGlobe and Mail
Nov. 22, 2016
Lieutenant-General Christine Whitecross, chief of military personnel, spoke to Canada’s top military leaders about the increased suicide rate of Canadian soldiers. She found the increased suicide rate “alarming, because rates of suicides among our members have historically been lower than those of the Canadian population… We need to better understand why this is occurring. And more importantly we must find a strategy to reverse this trend.”

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