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Calgary mental health advocates seek to break stigma on World Suicide Prevention DayCBC
September 10, 2022
Last Saturday, September 10, was World Suicide Prevention Day. “We always like to… use this as a day to take the opportunity to really talk about what’s going on out there, and do our work in further reducing the stigma around reaching out for support when somebody is facing, or at risk of, suicidal ideation,” said Robyn Romano, the CEO at Distress Centre Calgary. Recently it was announced that, by November 2023, Canada’s crisis line, currently available at 1-833-456-4566, would be accessible via 988, a change recently adopted by the US. Mara Grunau, executive director at Centre for Suicide Prevention said, “(988 is) more accessible — it’s because it’s more memorable. If you are working with somebody who you think may need the number, at some time, giving them a three-digit number to call instead of an 11-digit is much easier as well… So when we go to three digits, we know that the demand is going to go up and so we need to be ready. So that’s… one thing that we need to be prepared for.”

The importance of talking about suicide preventionStrathmore Now
September 10, 2022
Regan Turner lost brother Adam Turner to suicide 7 years ago. This year, she and her friends came together to host the first annual “Do Better” softball tournament to honour Adam and raise funds for the Centre for Suicide Prevention. Turner says, “It’s something that’s close to my heart and I wish that it was just more than one day. It’s great that we have a day that’s allocated for it, but it’s something I think that should be talked about more than just once a year. There are so many people out there that need help and supports and that information of where to go through to get that help and support.”

Ketamine infusions improve symptoms of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation, study saysCNN
September 12, 2022
A new study has found that people who received intravenous ketamine treatment for ten weeks saw “significant improvement” in depression and anxiety symptoms and decreased suicidal ideation. The study adds to growing research about the efficacy of ketamine in treating mental health issues. 50% of patients who had suicidal ideation were in remission after six weeks of treatments, and, after the full ten weeks of treatment, 38% had experienced remission of depressive symptoms. Dr. Gerard Sanacora, a psychiatry professor at the Yale School of Medicine says the study is “incredibly important” but cautions that there are some gaps, including in demonstrating adverse effects and directly comparing ketamine to other options. “I think (ketamine) is an incredibly important treatment to add to our armamentarium to fight severe mood disorders and psychiatric illnesses, but we have to use it responsibly and carefully,” says Sanacora.

Suicide grief support groups for Alberta youth to launch this year Edmonton Journal
September 11, 2022
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Edmonton Region, in partnership with youth mental health non-profit Kickstand, will be offering online suicide bereavement support groups for young people beginning in October. “One size definitely doesn’t fit all when we talk about adult programming versus youth programming,” said CMHA – Edmonton Executive Director Giri Puligandla. The program is being funded through the province’s Children’s Services ministry and Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Alexandra San Diego who works with Kickstand says, “Having groups like this, that support post-suicide, can actually help prevent additional suicides as well as unhealthy behaviours people might pick up following a difficult suicide death in their community.” A group for adults is already being offered.

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation suicide prevention walk encourages cultural connection as path to healingCBC
September 10, 2022
A group of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation students gathered on Sept. 9 for a walk to honour World Suicide Prevention Day, and in memory of those who have died by suicide. “I see … a lot of future helpers. I can see it already, with a lot of us [who] would want to try to make a difference in our community, especially with younger generations to come,” said Grade 12 student Chloe Blacksmith. Sioux Valley declared a state of emergency in October 2020 due to suicide. Elder Joyce Taylor recalls that suicide was rare when she was a child. “Every day we’re dealing with drug usage, alcoholism, violence, things that were never ours,” said Taylor. “That’s because of the outside influences, European influences, and it just didn’t happen within the last few decades. This kind of stuff has been going on since Christopher Columbus got lost and landed on our shores.” Taylor reminds students, “You need to be proud…. We’re resilient. We’re still here,” said Taylor. “We’re assertive, we’re strong … and we can survive anywhere.”

Crisis line wants to impart message of hope on World Suicide Prevention DayCityNews Ottawa
September 10, 2022
On average, 10 Canadians die by suicide daily and it’s the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 29. However, Dr. Allison Crawford, Chief Medical Officer with Talk Suicide Canada and psychiatrist with CAMH, says, “There is hope. While we recognize the pain people experience, there are interventions that work. In particular, interventions that increase our connection and support, are the most effective… All of us can impact suicide. It’s something that touches all of us. If you go in a room of people, everyone has been affected in some way.”

Calls to suicide prevention lifeline rose 45% after changeover to 988 numberCNN
September 9, 2022
Calls to the US crisis line have gone up by 45% since July 16, when 3-digit access via 988 was launched. In August, the 988 lifeline answered more than 150,000 calls, chats, and texts compared to August 2021. “We want everyone to know that there is hope. Whether you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, there is compassionate, accessible care and support,” said Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, US Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for mental health and substance use and leader of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “With rising levels of anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses – and the devastating number of overdose deaths – it is crucial that people have somewhere to turn when they’re in crisis.”

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