Subscribe to receive the weekly news roundup straight to your inbox!

Selena Gomez Says She Spent Years Contemplating SuicideE! News
November 3, 2022
In a recent interview, Selena Gomez opens up about her experiences with depression, suicidal thoughts, and an eventual bipolar diagnosis, which she received after spending time at four different mental health treatment facilities. Gomez struggled during her Revival Tour in 2016, and after 55 shows, the rest of the tour was cancelled. In 2017, Gomez said of the tour, “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it—which, I think, was a complete distortion.” Gomez explains, “It would start with depression, then it would go into isolation. Then it just was me not being able to move from my bed. I didn’t want anyone to talk to me. Sometimes it was weeks I’d be in bed to where even walking downstairs would get me out of breath. I thought the world would be better if I wasn’t there.” Gomez has since found purpose in philanthropy, and is passionate about introducing a mental health curriculum into US schools. “When you’re struggling with your mental health, the essential part is knowing what to do and recognizing that,” Gomez explained. “It’s something that I’m not ashamed of.”

Suicide crisis prompts Island Lake chiefs to call for equal access to health care
November 2, 2022
In response to an increase in mental health and addictions issues, Chiefs from Island Lake First Nations, four remote communities in Manitoba, are calling on provincial and federal governments to do more to ensure those living in those communities have equal access to health care and social services. “All Island Lake community members and leadership are daily trying to help the people who are suffering so much that the risk of suicide is a constant threat,” Scott Harper, Island Lake Anishininew Okimawin grand chief. “Canada must provide Island Lake First Nations with substantive equality in the health and social services that other Canadians have… An urgent strategy is needed to address colonization’s intergenerational traumatic effects, combined with decades of insufficient resources and funding, which has created a pandemic of suffering.”

Bill Outlawing Online Suicide Assistance Would Open Sites to Liability
New York Times
November 2, 2022
The Stop Online Suicide Assistance Forums Act, introduced in the House of Representatives in the US last week, seeks to hold websites and tech companies who have posts about suicide assistance content accountable, with penalties of up to five years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, among other online platforms, have prohibited users from posting about suicide methods and encouraging suicide, but these posts haven’t been fully eliminated. A New York Times investigation released last December examines the issue in depth. Sharon Luft’s son Matthew, 17, died by suicide, and Luft later discovered that he’d been encouraged to do so through a website. “It’s at least one important step. We need to get this online help taken down,” she said.

N.W.T. MLAs call on government to take immediate action on suicide prevention
November 1, 2022
A motion was passed last week in the NWT Legislative Assembly calling for a suicide prevention funding commitment of $250,000 annually, to be distributed throughout the territory’s regions. Last month, NWT’s chief coroner released early data on 2021 suicide deaths which found that deaths had increased. MLA Jackie Jacobson said the funding could go towards upstream suicide prevention measures such as recreational activities for youth. “Recreation should be available for all youth so we can have things to look forward [to and have] positive outlets in life,” said Jacobson. “There’s a lot we can do for our youth, but we have to do it. We can’t just talk about it anymore. It could save a life.”

FSIN calls for more mental health funding after new report shows high suicide rates in Indigenous communities
Global News
October 31, 2022
A new report released by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) examines the high rates of suicide and self-harm within some Indigenous communities. They’re calling for federal and provincial funding for a life promotion plan that has already to be developed and is ready to be implemented. “It’s another pandemic in itself,” said Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation Chief Ronald Mitsuing. “We’re ready to go. We have a full comprehensive Life Promotion strategy in place that just needs the funding and the resources to move forward,” said FSIN Vice-Chief David Pratt.

Subscribe to the weekly news roundup