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:

Run For Life In Support Of Suicide Prevention Ready to GoOkotoks Online
September 25, 2020
This past weekend, Centre for Suicide Prevention held the third annual Run for Life, a journey from darkness to light to remember those we’ve lost to suicide and raise awareness for suicide prevention.  “Traditionally, we do have the physical event, but due to the current situation and current environment, we’ve decided to move towards a virtual event for this year,” said Akash Asif, External Relations Director with the Centre for Suicide Prevention. “This run is incredibly important to anyone who has lived, experienced or is passionate about suicide prevention. The purpose of this event is to walk or run to remember your loved ones, and raise awareness for suicide prevention,” he said.

Third annual Run for LifeCentre for Suicide Prevention
The third annual Run for Life took place through Friday, Sept. 25 to Sunday, Sept. 27. This year’s event was virtual, and though we were unable to be together in-person, we were together in community through the hundreds of photos, posts, and messages shared by run participants. The virtual Run for Life 2020 was our biggest year yet – we had more participants who raised more funds than ever before while raising awareness for suicide and remembering those we’ve lost. This year’s event had 367 participants and 40 teams who raised more than $50,000! Thank you to our sponsors ATB, Volker Stevin Contracting Ltd., Zone 3 Business Solutions and Westland Insurance!

Military suicides have increased by as much as 20% during the coronavirus pandemicCBS News
September 28, 2020
In the US, preliminary, unofficial information is suggesting that military suicides have increased by around 20% during some months in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, though the Pentagon has not confirmed these numbers. “We know that the measures we took to mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID could amplify some of the factors that could lead to suicide,” said James Helis, director of the Army’s resilience programs. Helis added that the COVID-19 has increased telehealth calls and online visits with mental health providers, which has led to positive outcomes, including fewer missed appointments, “And we also think there was a reduction in the stigma of seeking behavioral health because you can do it from the privacy of your home.”

FSIN, Sask. government and federal government sign letter of commitment for suicide preventionCBC
September 27, 2020
In Saskatchewan, federal and provincial governments signed a letter of commitment with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) to support mental health and wellness services for Indigenous youth in Saskatchewan. FSIN Vice Chief David Pratt said, “What we have is our suicide prevention strategy, we got about nine recommendations in there that we’re looking to implement with our partners, Canada and Saskatchewan.” In 2018, FSIN developed a Saskatchewan First Nations Suicide Prevention Strategy, and in 2020, the government of Saskatchewan released Pillars for Life: Saskatchewan’s Suicide Prevention Plan.

Women and suicide: the dangers of social isolationThe Conversation UK
September 23, 2020
Men die by suicide more often than women, but the annual rate for female suicides rose to its highest level since 2004 in the UK, according to recent stats from the Office for National Statistics. Experts worry that we could see heightened suicide rates during the pandemic due to an increase in risk factors. Risk factors that may contribute to thoughts of suicide in women include loneliness. This article examines this and other factors for women’s suicide, as well as the efficacy of Section 136, a mental health act in the UK, in preventing suicide in women.

TikTok says suicide video was part of ‘coordinated attack’CNN
September 22, 2020
*Method and content warning* A video depicting suicide that first appeared on social media platform TikTok was intentionally spread by groups operating on the dark web, says TikTok. The video was duplicated to appear in several places on Tiktok, then spread to Twitter and Facebook. TikTok interim head Vanessa Pappas sent a letter on Monday to leaders of other social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, suggesting that when violent or graphic content is posted on one platform, a notification should be sent all others in an attempt to more quickly stop the spread of such content. The following day, TikTok released a transparency report saying that 100 million videos were removed from the platform in the first half of the year for violating rules.

3-digit emergency suicide hotline bill officially passes CongressMashable
September 22, 2020
A bill has been passed in the US Congress to approve a national three-digit suicide hotline. The hotline will activate sometime in 2022 and a 2-year phase-in period will follow. “No one is embarrassed to call 911 for a fire or an emergency,” said Dwight Holton, the CEO of suicide prevention nonprofit Lines for Life. “No one should be embarrassed to call 988 for a mental health emergency.”

Lady Gaga thought about suicide every day and ‘hated being famous‘ – CNN
September 21, 2020
Singer/actress Lady Gaga, an advocate for mental health, opened up about having thoughts of suicide every day in the past. “I hated being famous. I hated being a star, I felt exhausted and used up,” said Gaga. After receiving mental health supports, Gaga says,  “I don’t hate Lady Gaga anymore. I found a way to love myself again, even when I thought that was never gonna happen.”

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