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:
When you grow up surrounded by suicide, it seems normal. How do you heal a ‘broken spirit’? – Toronto Star
October 13, 2018
Indigenous suicide, like all suicide, is complex. This article talks about the role of sexual abuse as a factor in suicide ideation in Indigenous communities. It also examines other factors in Indigenous suicide, like cultural eradication, and looks to Indigenous communities both inside and outside of Canada for answers to the question of how to heal from past traumas.
Learn more about how trauma, like sexual abuse, relates to suicide in our resource toolkit on the subject.
Focusing on people at ‘high risk’ of suicide has failed as a suicide prevention strategy – Conversation
October 11, 2018
This article argues that, instead of focusing on people who are at high risk of suicide, governments should focus more effort on teaching people how to cope with mental health issues and the ups and downs of daily life: “While such strategies can help prevent someone from dying by suicide in any given moment, failure to address overwhelming stressors and improve everyday coping strategies leave a person vulnerable in the future. These practices can also make patients feel traumatised and unsupported.”
U.K. Appoints Minister for Suicide Prevention – New York Times
October 10, 2018
The UK has appointed its first minister for suicide prevention, months after appointing a minister for loneliness. The minister will lead government efforts to reduce suicide and the stigma attached to it. “We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence,” said Prime Minister Theresa May at an event to commemorate World Mental Health Day last week. “We can prevent the tragedy of suicide taking too many lives. And we can give the mental well-being of our children the priority it so profoundly deserves.”
Verne Troyer’s death ruled as suicide – The Guardian
October 10, 2018
Coroner’s have ruled the death of Verne Troyer, who passed away last April at the age of 49, as a suicide. Troyer was admitted to hospital three weeks before his death for alcohol intoxication. He was best known for playing Mini Me in the Austin Powers movies, and also starred in many others, including Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Edmonton mother desperate to find round-the-clock care for son following 8 suicide attempts – CBC
October 10, 2018
Heather Gillis’ 15-year-old son, who has been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression, has attempted suicide eight times since July. He regularly sees a psychologist and psychiatrist, however, Gillis says he needs more support and would like to see him admitted to a facility with 24/7 supervision. “He’s going to end up dead if he’s still on our clock because we can’t keep him safe,” said Gillis. “It’s just been a broken cycle over and over of he will self harm, we take him in, they keep him for a couple hours, then they discharge him.”
800,000 people kill themselves every year. What can we do? – The Guardian
October 8, 2018
This essay, written by Lady Gaga and Dr. Tedros Adhanom highlights the prevalence of suicide, and what can be done to prevent it. It argues that mental health isn’t given enough funding, but also emphasizes that anyone can work to prevent suicide. “We can all help to build communities that understand, respect and prioritize mental wellness. We can all learn how to offer support to loved ones going through a difficult time. And we can all be a part of a new movement – including people who have faced mental illness themselves – to call on governments and industry to put mental health at the top of their agendas,” said Lady Gaga and Dr. Adhanom.
Youth suicide in Ontario First Nation underscores ‘fourth world’ conditions, MPP says – CBC
October 9, 2018
Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa is speaking out about youth suicide in northern Ontario, and highlighting the fact that people in some Indigenous communities in the region are living in “fourth world” conditions. “The MPPs and the people down here, they’re very unaware of what’s happening in the backyard of Ontario,” Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa said, adding that includes knowledge of, and issues surrounding, “the inequity, the inequality that exists… Sometimes the systems that are there forget our people. I realize these are colonial systems; I realize the structures that are in place, the policies, the programs, do not reflect the needs of our people and they don’t … work with us.”
‘Stay strong’: Messages of support cover Ont. bridge after teen’s apparent suicide – CTV
October 9, 2018
St. Catherine’s, Ontario recently experienced the suicide death of a 19-year-old at Burgoyne Bridge. Wendi Duggan, who knew the young man who died, began posting messages of hope on the Bridge after his death in an effort to prevent further suicides. Since then, many others have joined in. “Why are kids feeling like this at 19-years-old? It’s such a young age,” Wendi Duggan, the first person to write the messages of hope, said. “I’m going to keep putting (messages) there, in hopes (that) it helps one person.”