Hello Friends,

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:

Youth protection officials failed suicidal Salluit teen, Quebec coroner concludesCBC
November 12, 2018
Quebec Coroner É​ric Lépine believes that the province’s youth protection services did not provide sufficient follow-up care to Rhoda Tunu Parr, 14, who died by suicide while in foster care. Lépine recommends that Quebec’s Commission on Human and Youth Rights evaluates the province’s response. Parr expressed suicidality, and took her life in the summer of 2017. “We can call this a failure, at least in terms of how her intervention plan was handled,”  Lépine said. “A closer watch would have been justified,” he wrote in his report, speaking of the lack of follow-up from youth protection workers in the weeks preceding her death.

‘Worrying’ suicide rates found among Swiss farmersSwiss Info
November 11, 2018
Farmers in Switzerland have a suicide rate that’s 40% higher than the average rate for men living in rural areas, according to a survey by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The rate for men living in rural Switzerland has declined overall, but has risen among farmers. It’s speculated that fears for the future, financial worries, succession problems and loneliness are factors in the higher rates.

Suicide rates in Northern Ireland are rising – it’s easy to see why, yet the government is doing little about itIndependent
November 10, 2018
Last week Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency released their latest suicide statistics. 305 people died by suicide in Northern Ireland in 2017, which is a slight increase from 2016’s 298. The figure has doubled since 1998. The demographic most affected by suicide in Northern Ireland differs from that in the rest of the UK: in Northern Ireland, men between the ages of 25 to 29 die by suicide most often, whereas in the rest of the UK, men between 40 and 44 die most often.

‘Kids die, kids commit suicide’: Boy Erased sheds light on controversial gay conversion therapy CBC
November 10, 2018
A new film about gay conversion therapy is exploring the traumatic experience of conversion therapy. Some activists in Canada want to see conversion therapy banned completely, because of the trauma it leaves with those who go through it. Chris Gudgeon, executive director of It Gets Better Canada, says: “The actual risk is kids die, kids commit suicide,” he said. “We can’t tolerate that any more in Canada.”
Related: Losing My Gay Son To Suicide Changed The Way I View My Christian FaithHuffPost

Suicide crisis: Family wants state of emergency declared in Nunavik Montreal Gazette
November 9, 2018
Mary Simon and brother Bobby May, both from Nunavik, Quebec, have launched an online petition asking for government action on suicides in the region.15,000 people have signed the petition thus far. The petition calls for the appointment of a coordinator to oversee treatment and counselling programs in the 14 villages of Nunavik.

Nunavik crisis: 124 people have died by suicide since 2010 Montreal Gazette
November 9, 2018
The suicide rate in Nunavik, Quebec, is 116 per 100,000: the national average is 11 per 100,000. 1 in 100 people in Nunavik die by suicide, and if that same rate were applied to a larger city, for example, Montreal, 17,000 people would die by suicide each year. Nunavik has trained 300 people in ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and has received some of the $9 million given to regional governments by the federal government for the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy.

What is it like to prevent a suicide?BBC
November 7, 2018
*Method warning* The British Transport Police have seen a 20% increase in community members intervening to stop people who are attempting suicide on railways. Tommy, 23, was standing on a railway bridge when stranger Gillian Assor, who was walking past with her dog, intervened. “I’m not a hero, I just happened to be walking past,” says Assor now. The two have since become friends, after finding each other through Facebook after Tommy reached out, asking who it was that helped save his life. 90% of people who are intervened with when attempting do not go on to attempt again. Find out more in our article on the subject, A Caring Conversation.

‘Forgotten’ MP who died by suicide after returning from WW1 to get plaque outside House of CommonsNational Post
November 6, 2018
*Method warning* Lt. Col. Samuel Sharpe died by suicide after WW1. He’s now being honoured on a plaque outside the House of Commons in Ottawa, in an effort to acknowledge those lost to suicide as a result of psychological harm done by war. “This is a seminal year for recognizing mental illnesses as a casualty of war,” Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan said. “And so many Canadians, frankly, are already there. They want this. So I’m happy we’re kind of catching up.”

Suicides among Japanese young people hit 30-year high BBC
November 5, 2018
The suicide rate among Japanese youth have been rising, despite the fact that the country’s overall rate has gone down in recent years. In 2015 Japan had one of the highest suicide rates, but preventative measures have helped the rate decrease. For youth, though, suicide is the leading cause of death. “The number of suicides of students have stayed high, and that is an alarming issue which should be tackled,” education ministry official Noriaki Kitazaki said as the latest figures were released.

‘He deserves to be remembered’: Silver Cross mother of soldier who died by suicideCTV
November 5, 2018
The mother of Pte. Thomas Welch, who died by suicide in 2004 after serving in Afghanistan, has been given the Silver Cross. This is the first time that the family member of a soldier who died by suicide has been acknowledged. Pte. Welch’s name will also be inscribed in the Books of Remembrance, which lie on Parliament Hill.

Suicide Hotlines, Risk Assessment and Rights: Whose Safety Matters?Mad in America
October 25, 2018
This article, written by a crisis centre employee, takes a critical view of suicide hotlines, and argues that some seem to use more of a risk-assessment approach rather than a compassionate, person-centred approach. Sending in police officers when someone is at immediate risk of suicide is another criticized practice. This author argues that mental health services need to change, as: “The mental health/psychiatric/police-force system doesn’t offer stable human connection: pain is medicalized and weaponized against the person experiencing the pain, and you’re only allowed to stay as long as your ‘treatment’ lasts or for the 50 minutes of your appointment.”

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