Subscribe to receive the weekly news roundup straight to your inbox!
World Suicide Prevention Day 2023 – Centre for Suicide Prevention
September 6, 2023
Sunday, September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. This day is an opportunity to remember the lives of people we’ve lost to suicide and raise awareness for suicide prevention. To honour the day, we’ve released a statement with the Canadian Mental Health Association – National and updated our toolkit about suicide prevention. We will also be hosting free workshops.
Students Struggling With Suicide – Psychiatric Times
September 6, 2023
This article is an interview with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s senior vice president of research, Jill M. Harkavy-Friedman, PhD. Harkavy-Friedman discusses the issue of suicide among students and what can be done to prevent suicide in this population. Harkavy-Friedman says, “Having a mental health professional in schools has been shown to be an effective way to support students, teachers, and families. Research shows that connection to school can reduce risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. When services are in place in schools, research shows they will be used by students.”
ADHD linked to higher risk of developing mental disorders and attempted suicide, study finds – CNN
September 5, 2023
A recent study has found that ADHD is associated with higher risk of suicide attempts as well as depression, anorexia, and PTSD. People with ADHD who participated in the study were found to be 30% more likely to attempt suicide and 9% more likely to develop depression compared to those who did not have ADHD. Lead study author, Dr. Dennis Freuer, says that clinician’s should be doing early screenings of signs of depression, suicidal ideation, and anorexia in children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Feuer explains, “This would allow for early treatment tailored to the patient. From a personal and family point of view, I think it is important not to underestimate any symptoms and the disease itself and its possible consequences and to seek professional help in time.”
Losing my son to suicide felt like my heart was ripped out – BBC
September 5, 2023
In this article, Louise Russell describes her experience of losing son Ciaran Reilly, 29, to suicide, in December 2020. Reilly was a father of three and had just started a new job at the time of his death, after losing his previous job. Now Russell and her partner David Christopher are raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention, walking 500 miles to raise funds for UK suicide prevention charity Papyrus. “People need to know there is somewhere out there to get help,” said Russell. “I want to make the point the world is not a better place without them in it. It is not.” Professor and suicidologist Rory O’Connor says of the cause of suicide, “We need to look at all the different factors we know that lead to people feeling defeated, humiliated and trapped. For one person that might be trauma and unemployment, for another it might be feeling trapped by the pain of mental illness.” O’Connor says that a key focus of suicide prevention should be on addressing the inequalities that can lead to a person considering suicide.
South Korean teachers hold mass protests after suicide highlights pressures from parents – CNN
September 5, 2023
In South Korea last week, up to 200,000 teachers participated in a rally to bring awareness to the harsh demands and, sometimes, harassment, of their students’ parents. 50,000 went on strike and gathered at the capital building in Seoul to commemorate a colleague who had recently died by suicide and to protest the child abuse law that severely restricts their ability to discipline children in the classroom. The colleague they were commemorating died after being bullied by parents. An investigation into the teacher’s death found that they had received “multiple phone calls” from one parent and felt “uncomfortable and anxious about how the parent found out their personal mobile number.” For many years, educators in South Korea have been raising the issue of feeling unable to discipline students in the classroom for fear of retribution from parents, and thus dealing with difficulties in running a classroom. One teacher who had attended the recent strike said, “The current child abuse prevention act restricts the teaching and guidance of teachers in the classroom… Of course, the majority of teachers and parents are good, but some parents abuse this law and sue teachers for child abuse.” Following the protests, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said, “We should take the voices raised by teachers last weekend seriously, and make every effort to establish teaching authority and normalize the educational field.”
Related – Teacher suicide exposes parent bullying in S Korea – BBC
OPINION: It’s time to shed light on the darkness – Ponoka News
September 5, 2023
**Language warning – ‘success’** September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day that holds special significance for this article’s author Kevin Sabo who himself has lived experience with suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Sabo has recovered from his suicidality, having been connected to a doctor who was able to help him strike a balance between “pushing” him and “being supportive,” and helping him get his “medications sorted out.” Sabo reflects, “Since 2018, though I have had dips, I have been on a generally upward climb and the suicidal ideation is all but gone. Recovery is possible. As challenging as the years have been, I am grateful that (I didn’t die by suicide)…”
How writing suicide notes helped save a teen’s life – NPR’s WHYY
September 4, 2023
**Method and self-harm warning** Justin Kemp, 17, a high school student in Philadelphia, has written a book called, “Dear,” in which he opens up about his struggles with mental health, thoughts of suicide, and how writing saved his life. “This book is written for teens to resonate with and to know that they’re not alone, but for adults to also understand the pressures that the world puts on teenagers,” Kemp said. While struggling with thoughts of suicide, Kemp would write good-bye letters to himself and his parents. He says this helped him cope with his mental health struggles and thoughts of suicide, “I think that’s what was therapeutic to me,” Kemp said, “Understanding that I did have good moments and that I can still have better moments. And that’s what really motivated me to continue to write. And the more I wrote, the better I felt. And when I finally got to the end of the book, I had healed in a way. And I mean, you don’t really just heal all together, but it was a sense of release.”
Someone you love attempted suicide. Where do you go from here?– CNN
September 3, 2023
This article discusses how to support a person in your life who has attempted suicide. Dr. Christine Yu Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says, “At its core, a suicide attempt is a life-threatening health crisis, and gestures of support that you would use for other types of health crises can be appropriate here too.” Yu Moutier says that one of the most impactful things you can do for that person is to show them that you’re there for them, “During their mental health crisis, (a survivor) may have perceived themselves as being completely alone, or a burden on those who love them, so one of the most powerful gestures at this time is your ongoing presence and support,” she said.