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:

Children under 12 more at suicide risk than you thinkMedicine Hat News
Oct. 7, 2016
Medicine Hat, Alberta, is hosting two child suicide prevention workshops next month, thanks to a grant from the Family and Community Support Services Community Development Grants. The workshop, Tattered Teddies: Preventing Suicide in Children, was developed by the Centre for Suicide Prevention and acknowledges that children can and do die by suicide, but also that these deaths can be prevented.

#MindVine Podcast CMHA Mental Health for All ConferenceOntario Shores
Oct. 7, 2016
Mara Grunau discusses the importance of education and awareness in breaking down the stigma surrounding suicide.

Alberta man involved in police standoff opens up about incident, says he’s turned his life aroundGlobal 
Oct. 5, 2016
Caleb Seeton of Spruce Grove, Alberta, attempted suicide 9 months ago in a very public way that involved a standoff with police officers which was recorded by TV cameras. Now, Seeton has come forward to explain why he attempted suicide, citing the economic pressure he felt: “You’re used to the Albertan way of all this money coming in, the taps are always on. When they shut off, you start scrambling, right?” Seeton is now receiving mental health treatment. Mara Grunau was featured on the segment emphasizing the importance of receiving mental health help when it is needed, and also the importance of identifying those in your life that may need help, and how you can reach out to them.

Is there such a thing as suicide prevention?CJOB 
Oct. 4, 2016
Mara Grunau talks about the fact that suicide prevention is possible, and that people who are suicidal do not want to die. We need to reach out to those who need help, and we can do this by simply connecting to people because when people feel safe and connected, they will be more likely to reach out for help.

World Mental Health DayWorld Health Organization (WHO)
Oct. 10, 2016
Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, as recognized by WHO. “The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, covers “psychological first aid”. Efforts in support of the day will focus on basic pragmatic psychological support by people who find themselves in a helping role whether they be health staff, teachers, firemen, community workers, or police officers.”

The wars keep returningAtlantic
Oct. 7, 2016
A US veteran talks about the many suicide deaths of other veterans that he has known, “I can only speak from my own personal experience of the war. Serving in Iraq was terrifying, exhilarating, and the most professionally meaningful experience of my life. You’re in an extremely high-pressure environment, ‘living in a goldfish bowl’ as the saying goes, and you enjoy a tight sense of community. Then poof, war’s over and you’re flung into the diaspora, and life has little meaning anymore.”

Ottawa moving too slowly on suicide-prevention strategy: veterans’ advocatesGlobe and Mail
Oct. 6, 2016
Kent Hehr, Veterans Affairs Minister, was mandated by Prime Minister Trudeau to develop a suicide prevention strategy for veterans. Mr. Hehr has been working with the National Defence Ministry to “modernize the suicide prevention policy and ensure that the best practices are being followed.” However, Mike Blais, the founder of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy, says that advocates are frustrated with their inability to obtain data on veterans suicides, which would “reveal the scope of the problem.” “We’ve been pushing for a year and a half for suicide data,” said Aaron Bedard, an Afghanistan veteran. “We want to know where, when and why people commit suicide after they serve, and how soon after they have left the military it’s happening. We want to see the trends, we want to see the regions. We want to get a sense of areas where there might be a hot pocket of suicides. And we want to know why. What’s working, what’s not?”

Why Starbucks Canada’s investment in mental health therapy mattersGlobe and Mail
Oct. 5, 2016
Starbucks Canada has just announced that they will now give $5000 per year for mental health spending to their employees who work over 20 hours a week, roughly 12,600 employees. The initiative is gaining praise from several mental health organizations, including Centre for Suicide Prevention and our parent organization, Canadian Mental Health Association.

At Golden Gate Bridge, texting offers new lifeline to prevent suicidesNPR
Oct. 3, 2016
The Golden Gate Bridge and Crisis Text Line have added another means of suicide prevention to the structure: a sign inviting people to text if they’re in crisis. The catalyst for this new option was that, unfortunately, more young people than ever before have been going to the Golden Gate to attempt suicide: “It can feel very vulnerable, especially for the younger generation, to actually dial a real phone and talk to somebody, so there’s something very impersonal about text that’s very natural,” Ellen Kaster, a volunteer with Crisis Text Line, explains.

More child suicides are linked to ADD than depression, study suggestsNew York Times
Sept. 19, 2016
A new study released in Pediatrics examined the suicide deaths of children, and has found that very young children, those aged 5 to 11, were most likely to have had attention deficit disorder (ADD), while older children, aged 12-14, were more likely to have had depression: “Suicide prevention has focused on identifying children struggling with depression; the new study provides an early hint that this strategy may not help the youngest suicide victims.” According to Jeffrey Bridge, the paper’s senior author and an epidemiologist at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio said the findings suggest that, “suicide is potentially a more impulsive act among children.”

The terrorist inside my husband’s brainNeurology
Sept. 27, 2016
Susan Schneider Williams, Robin Williams’ widow, wrote an essay for journal Neurology about his suicide death. Schneider writes that Williams’ suicide death was brought about by Lewy body disease, a rare neurological disease. She explains his symptoms and immense mental struggles with the disease.

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