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:

Innu community in eastern Quebec welcomes suicide prevention programAPTN
October 15, 2021
Innu First Nation Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, located in the north shore region of Quebec, is home to a new Indigenous-run suicide prevention program – the first of its kind in the province. Tshimishtin Crisis House is a place for people to go after accessing mental health services, according to Marie-Luce Jordain, who works at the House, “When you’re receiving mental health services, often you’re not ready to return home right away. So instead, you’ll come here. You can come relax, regain some energy – because it’s a long road to come back to ‘real-life.’ It’s a long process. So we’ll accompany the individual in that process.”

Child suicides in Japan are at a record highCNN
October 14, 2021
A report from the Japanese education ministry published last week shows a 31% increase in suicides among children aged 6 to 18 during the 2020 school year. Students were out of class for 30 days or more in that school year. It is unclear whether the pandemic contributed to a rise in school absences – schools were closed from March to May 2020. Eguchi Arichika, head of children and student affairs division of Japan’s education ministry says, “The results show that the pandemic has caused changes in the school and family environment and had an impact on children’s behavior. I want to promote efforts to make it easier to share ways where people can find help and make sure children who can’t attend school can keep learning.”

New report explores risk factors for high rates of suicide, substance use among InuitCanadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA)
October 13, 2021
Inuit have a suicide rate that is 25 times higher than the suicide rate of the general population in Canada. A new report has found this elevated suicide risk is due to intergenerational trauma caused by “colonization, marginalization, and the loss of the traditional Inuit lifestyle of harvesting and gathering food from the land.” Other factors include community distress, mental health conditions, substance use and socioeconomic inequities. The report recommends: improving research and data collection on mental health, substance use, and suicide among Inuit; improving social determinants of health including access to culturally safe health care; and recognizing the importance of strengths-based approaches to inform programs building on individual and community resilience. “This report is aimed at improving research and data collection on factors related to suicide among Inuit to help with both surveillance and prevention efforts. These efforts are consistent with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and we are proud to be contributing to this important work. Our hope is that this report will be a key resource for Inuit organizations, people working in suicide prevention, and researchers who work with suicide risk and the broader mental well-being of Inuit in Canada,” said Rita Notarandrea, CEO of CCSA.

Education, communication are important strategies to prevent suicide among veterinariansJAVMA News
October 13, 2021
This write-up follows a round table on suicide prevention hosted by American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, and provides information about suicide prevention in the broader population. Christine Moutier, MD, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention pointed out that it is a myth that physicians and veterinarians have the highest suicide rates: “When I hear things like physicians or veterinarians have the highest rate of suicide in the world, those are not true statements. It is true we have higher rates than the general population, though there are many industries whose rates are higher.” She explains, during the round table, many nuances of suicide including that, “Suicide behavior requires a cognitive process. That’s what has confused the world for so long. Those decisions are made by a brain that, at that moment, is a distressed brain.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided recommendations for how to prevent suicide, including: strengthening economic supports and access to mental health and suicide care, promoting connectedness, creating protective environments where there is limited access to lethal means, and identifying and supporting people at risk. Dr. Janet Donlin, American Veterinary Medical Association CEO, says, “We are a caring, giving community … and we will continue to work together to use evidenced-based prevention and communication in this area.”

Children’s suicide attempts have increased during COVID-19 pandemicHealio
October 13, 2021
A new study of data from Paris, France found that there has been a deterioration in children’s mental health in the city since the start of the pandemic and rates of suicide ideation and attempts among children increased in 2020. Researchers noted, “There is a need for rapid deployment of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies to address factors influencing suicide attempts among children during and likely after the pandemic.”

Youth from rural communities at increased risk for firearm-related suicideHealio
October 13, 2021
A new study has found that limiting young people’s access to firearms can be especially beneficial for preventing suicide in rural and remote communities. Eric W. Fleegler, MD, of the division of emergency medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School said, “Pediatricians and parents alike need to realize that we do not always know when youth are in crisis. We need to recognize that mental health crises can happen to anyone, anytime, and that one of the best ways to reduce the risk of suicide is to eliminate the access to firearms before it is too late.”

Subscribe to this weekly mailing list