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Alberta Hospital Edmonton needs more staff, better monitoring of new patients, judge says in fatality reportCBC
November 3, 2023
**Method warning** A fatality inquiry following the suicide death of Kaitlind Credgeur, 25, who died while in care at Alberta Hospital Edmonton (AHE), has produced recommendations for Alberta Health Services with the goal of preventing similar deaths. Among the recommendations were that a particular means of suicide be removed immediately and permanently from new AHE patients. Carrie Sharpe, with the Alberta Court of Justice, also said that more staff should be required on AHE units during the night shift, and that nurses and psychiatric aides have ongoing training in how to conduct patient observations. Sharpe also recommended that observations occur as directed and that newly admitted patients be placed in single rooms close to the nurses’ station. Carl Erich-Nilsson, Credgeur’s common-law partner, said, “These recommendations will help others be safe, especially when they are seeking help.” Credgeur’s mother, Tina Credgeur, said, “I’m just really hoping they take it seriously and follow through.” AHS spokesperson Kristi Bland said they have been taking steps to ensure that some of the recommendations are being met.

Study explores common risks and resiliencies in farmers’ mental health crisis
November 1, 2023
This article discusses the recent University of Alberta study about farmer suicide through the lens of farmer Dwayne Kelndorfer. Kelndorfer runs a fourth-generation farm in Alberta, and has struggled with his mental health, suffering a psychotic break after a three difficult harvests and troubles with his relationship. Kelndorfer says, “You’re supposed to be tough and strong. But everybody has a breaking point and you don’t know what’s going to break you.” After being admitted to care for his mental health, Kelndorfer says that now, his mind is easier. He shares his story hoping that it will inspire others to seek help when they need it. He says, “It’s easy when you’re depressed to get holed up in your house and stay away from people. It doesn’t get better that way … But if we can talk about it, we can get help. This big burley rancher who lives close to came up to me and he said, ‘What you did gave me the courage to go see the doctor.’ And that’s pretty impactful. Maybe we can change.”

HR must ‘start the conversation’ to prevent employee suicide, SHRM speaker saysHR Dive
October 31, 2023
This article discusses actions that can be taken by HR teams to help prevent suicide in the workplace. Employee assistance programs can be good resources, as well, being aware of the warning signs of suicide and having a conversation with an employee they’re worried about. Language is important, and HR professionals should use safe language when talking about suicide, for example, by avoiding the use of the phrase “commit suicide,” which has “a lot of baggage,” according to suicide prevention speaker and advocate Frank King, who has lived experience with suicide. King says, “Here’s what you say to somebody who’s depressed: I’m here for you and I mean it. I know you’re not lazy or crazy or self-absorbed. I know depression is a mental illness. With time and treatment, things will get better. I will take the time and help you get the treatment.” King gives advice on how to have a conversation with someone who is considering suicide, “You have to ask them this, in no uncertain terms: Are you having thoughts of suicide? Just like that… if the answer is yes, the follow up question should be, ‘Do you have a plan?’ If they have a plan, ‘What is your plan?’ If it’s a detailed time, place and method, you need to get them to a mental health facility for evaluation immediately. If the answer is no, the follow up should be, “‘Tell me why not.’ Make them give voice to whatever is keeping them here.”

Men are lonely. So why is it so hard for them to make friends?  – Globe and Mail
October 26, 2023
Recent studies have found that men have fewer friends than they previously did, and spend less time with the friends they do have. This loss of social connection is one factor in men’s suicide risk. According to psychotherapist Emily Kedar, “Men are socialized to value being productive, being providers, taking care of their families financially. They want to look strong and tough. But there’s a certain amount of vulnerability it takes to reach out to make new friends… friendships (end up) tak(ing) backseat importance. That goes on so long that loneliness just becomes the norm.” The article explores some ways that men are making friends and becoming more connected, for example, Bang Fitness’ Geoff Girvitz brings dads together to discuss fatherhood. Girvitz does this by having men do physical activities like calisthenics while chatting; having a task to do makes it easier for men to talk. Girvitz says, “I think there’s a psychological component. Maybe we’re more comfortable talking when we’ve got another focal point. When there’s silence, we can just go back to the task. Exercise in particular is incredibly helpful with everything from lowering anxiety levels to helping you feel more present.”
Related – What about men? unpacks the problems of the modern manGlobe and Mail