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:
Catching the warning signs: N.W.T. workshops promote suicide prevention – CBC
October 20, 2019
Alyssa Carpenter, the only safeTALK: suicide alertness training workshop Trainer in the Northwest Territories, is hosting workshops across the territory, teaching people how to identify the warning signs of suicide and how to talk to someone who may be struggling. “It’s about having a conversation and not treating it as a taboo,” Carpenter said. “We have to acknowledge that people are human, and that things impact people differently so it’s also bringing in that conversation.” The workshops are one action being taken to reduce suicides. Jordan Peterson, deputy grand chief of Gwich’in Tribal Council, is making suicide prevention training a priority for himself, and has added his name to the list of people who can be called as part of the suicide hotline in Fort McPherson. “I think that too often, we as people are only putting the resources in place and talking about the issue of suicide when it happens,” he said.
Drawn From Poverty: Art Was Supposed to Save Canada’s Inuit. It Hasn’t. – New York Times
October 19, 2019
This feature article discusses what life is like for some in Nunavut, specifically, Cape Dorset. It follows the artist Ooloosie Saila, who comes from Cape Dorset, and whose beautiful artworks are selling in Toronto for over $2,500. Throughout, this article features the duality of life in the North: often inspiring, hopeful, and filled with beauty and creativity, while at other times filled with strife: 90% of residents of Cape Dorset live in public housing and suicide rates are higher than average.
Learn more in our article: An open letter to my fellow ‘Southern’ Canadians.
How to Recognize When a Loved One May Be Considering Suicide, and the Best Ways to Help – People Magazine
October 18, 2019
We can reach out to help those who we believe may be thinking about suicide. Dr. Christine Moutier of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention explains that we can recognize signs in those around us that will indicate if they may be thinking about suicide, and how we can help, “If they are talking about feeling trapped, like they’re a burden to others, overwhelmed, hopeless, desperate, in pain, any of those indicators, that is your cue to be able to say, ‘When you talk about that level of pain or desperation’ — use their words — ‘it makes me wonder if you’ve thought of ending your life.’” This article is one of many in People Magazine’s series exposing mental health issues and how we can all help each other and break down the stigma, Let’s Talk About It.
Opinion: The war inside: America’s veteran suicide epidemic has a silent, unaddressed cause – USA Today
October 18, 2019
“Moral injury” is discussed in this article as one potential factor in the higher risk of suicide in veterans. “Moral injury” is described as resulting from “violating core moral foundations by causing or witnessing serious harm or failing to save others.” Moral injury causes disruption of identity, as people are not able to make sense of the experiences (witnessing harm, failing to save others) that “derailed their identities.” Betrayal is one feeling brought about by moral injury, and is, according to the authors of the article, one of the “most challenging of moral injuries.” Moral injury “is not a mental health disorder, yet the suffering is intense. Those afflicted can be crushed by guilt; tortured by anxiety; trapped by emotional solitary confinement; immobilized by meaninglessness; haunted by the dead; frayed by overwork; seduced by drugs, gambling, or sex; consumed by outrage.”
CDC Finds Rising Suicide Rates For Young People – NPR
October 17, 2019
Suicide rates are rising for all age groups in the US, and the rate for 10 to 24 year olds in the United States has risen 56% from 2007 to 2017. Suicide is complex, therefore, experts cannot pinpoint one particular cause of a rising suicide rate. Substance abuse, abuse in the home, and lower levels of social support are all factors that can contribute to suicide risk, according to Nadine Kaslow, psychologist at Emory University and past president of the American Psychological Association. Jill Harkavy-Friedman, the vice president of research at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, notes that, “Early intervention can be lifetime intervention,” meaning that if kids can receive treatment and support for their mental health issues early on, they are at lower risk for suicide in the future. “We know that problem-solving and coping strategies and help-seeking when you’re not feeling well are key to suicide prevention and reducing risk,” said Harkavy-Friedman.
New York City Police Officer Dies By Suicide — the 10th NYPD Suicide in 2019 – TIME
October 16, 2019
The New York Police Department has lost several of its members to suicide this year, despite efforts such as an Officer Mental Health and Wellness Task Force. A report released in September found that services were underused by officers and that many cited stigma as the reason they didn’t feel comfortable seeking help.