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Needs matter: Factors that increase suicide risk for college studentsUAB News
October 20, 2022
A recent study examining suicidality among post secondary students in the US found that students who struggle with food insecurity have an increased risk of suicide. Study co-author Yusen Zhai, PhD, says, “Food, as part of physiological needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is vital to survival and wellness for all humankind. College students who struggle with food insecurity may experience distress and are unwilling to seek help due to stigma, which can lead to mental health issues and elevated suicide risk.” 

Q&A: Garbage’s Shirley Manson On Suicide Prevention And The Importance Of Opening Up
October 20, 2022
**Content warning – misinformation re: suicide rates** Shirley Manson, along with her band Garbage, is taking part in the Hollywood Bowl, which will raise money for I’m Listening and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Manson says she believes it’s important to talk about mental health treatment and suicide prevention. “I think you just have to be willing to have a conversation with whomever you may know that may be struggling. And so many people suffer silently and often it can just be a willingness to actually ask, ‘How are you doing?’ And be willing to sit in the answer that you perhaps weren’t hoping for, to be willing to sit in a difficult conversation. To me, that’s sort of the purpose of what we’re trying to do next week, is just to encourage dialogue and conversation and comfort,” says Manson.

Perfectionists: Lowering your standards can improve your mental healthWashington Post
October 19, 2022
This article discusses the connection between perfectionism and poor mental health outcomes, including suicidality. Author Tracey Dennis-Tiwary, PhD, says, “Research is unequivocal — there is little upside to perfectionism. The relentless pursuit of flawlessness can lead to low self-worth, depressive and anxiety disorders, high stress in the face of failure, and even suicidality. As a result, perfectionists often end up achieving much less than they aspire to because they hold back, procrastinate and even stop taking on challenges altogether — because it’s better to not have entered the race than to have spun out in ignominy.” Dennis-Tiwary explains that striving for excellence is a good alternative to perfectionism.

Suicides are up in N.L. This researcher says many factors play into a person’s decision to end their life CBC
October 18, 2022
Suicide deaths have increased across Newfoundland and Labrador by around 25% from 2020 to 2021. Nathaniel Pollock, adjunct professor at Memorial University says, “I think increasingly, that a lot of people who die by suicide don’t have a mental illness and that there are a lot of social factors and relationship factors that also kind of contribute to their risk. Really, it’s multifactorial. It’s several things working together over a long time… It’s really important to see that those are not medical issues but those are things that really reflect values and behaviours and structures and institutions in society. Increase people’s food security, make sure they have good quality housing and make sure they aren’t exposed to violence. These are all things that over the long term we can probably start to see the impact of … on things like our suicide rates.”

Sold a lie Fifth Estate
October 15, 2022
A recent CBC Fifth Estate episode addresses mental unwellness and suicide among international students living in Canada. In the episode, Mark Kelley says that there has been an increase in suicide deaths among international students in the community of Brampton, Ontario. Nirlep Gill, Peer Support Worker, Punjabi Community Health Services, counsels international students in distress. Gill talks about what he’s heard from the students, “Loneliness. They’re missing their families because they’re not used to living alone back home in India. That is one main factor to getting those mental illnesses. Depression, stress, away from home, away from family. There are multiple reasons for the (suicide) deaths.” The episode goes on to discuss what the post-secondary institutions that have marketed themselves to these students need to be doing to support them.

Preventing suicide: New guide free to professionAmerican Veterinary Medical Association
October 14, 2022
The American Veterinary Medical Association, along with partner organizations, has created a new suicide prevention resource for those working in veterinary medicine that outlines suicide risk and protective factors, warning signs, and what organizations and individual people can do to prevent suicide.

Poor mental health in US teens exacerbated by negative experiences during Covid-19 pandemic, survey findsCNN
October 13, 2022
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US found that most young people experienced negative events during the pandemic, and that these events were linked to a higher prevalence of poor mental health and suicide attempts. Nearly 75% of American high school students reported experiencing at least one adverse event in 2021 such as physical or emotional abuse, unemployment in their family, or food insecurity. 8% of young people reported experiencing four or more of these events throughout the pandemic, and, among that group, suicide attempts were 25 times more common. “The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the extent and severity of the mental health crisis on racial and ethnic minority, sexual and gender minority, and marginalized young people,” US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy wrote in a recent public health report. “Experiences of trauma and marginalization, among other factors, can place these young people at heightened risk for mental health difficulties later in life, too.”

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