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World Suicide Prevention Day Press Release (PDF) – Centre for Suicide Prevention
September 7, 2022
September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day to remember those we’ve lost to suicide and raise awareness for how suicide can be prevented. Looking back at the last 2.5 years, it’s hard to believe what we’ve lived through and how we’ve coped. During the pandemic, questions like, ‘How are you really doing?’ became common and people more easily discussed mental health. Many of us regularly checked in on loved ones. Let’s continue these conversations. We need to stick together. This is suicide prevention.

Substance use and suicide preventionCentre for Suicide Prevention and Canadian Mental Health Association
September 7, 2022
The month of September marks both National Recovery Month and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10). There are links between suicide and substance use disorder– and suicide is preventable among people experiencing substance use disorder. People who are experiencing a mental illness, like depression or anxiety, may use drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. This may lead to a substance use disorder. Risk of suicide increases if an individual has both a substance use disorder and another mental illness.
Related resource – Substance use disorder and suicide prevention toolkit (updated)

Long COVID’s link to suicide: scientists warn of hidden crisisReuters
September 9, 2022
Scientists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Britain’s data-collection agency are starting to study a potential link between an increase in depression and suicidal thoughts among people with long COVID. “I’m sure long COVID is associated with suicidal thoughts, with suicide attempts, with suicide plans and the risk of suicide death. We just don’t have epidemiological data,” said Leo Sher, a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Health System who studies mood disorders and suicidal behaviour. It’s estimated that nearly 150 million people worldwide are experiencing long COVID. Scott Taylor, 56, died by suicide after suffering with long COVID for more than a year. In a text to a friend, Taylor wrote, “No one cares. No one wants to take the time to listen, I can hardly do laundry without complete exhaustion, pain, fatigue, pain all up and down my spine. World spinning dizzily, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. It seems I say stuff and have no idea of what I’m saying.”

Beloved veterinarian takes her own life, leaving West Quebec equine community shocked, saddenedCBC
September 6, 2022
Equine veterinarian Andrea Kelly, 36, died by suicide in August. Sister Erin Kelly reflects on her life, “I’ve heard so many stories in the last few weeks about how generous she was with her time. She was never too busy to answer a call. She was never too busy to go out and check on someone.” Her family is asking for donations to be sent in her memory to Not One More Vet (NOMV), an American non-profit organization aiming to prevent suicide among veterinarians. NOMV president Dr. Caitlin Furlong says that long working hours, client-veterinarian boundaries, and stress all contribute to the elevated suicide risk of veterinarians. Furlong’s colleague and equine veterinarian Dr. Aja Harvey says that large animal vets in particular face high levels of stress. “I think what really distinguishes large animal veterinary medicine from small animal (medicine) is the amount of hours we have to put in,” said Harvey.

Talking About Suicide Helps Us Stay AliveSlate
September 6, 2022
This article addresses the importance of “normalizing discussion of suicide.” A popular myth is that it’s dangerous to talk about suicide – the author of this piece, Marisa Russello notes, “What opening conversation actually does is eliminate silence, shame, and social isolation, which has a huge positive impact on someone’s life and may reduce, rather than increase, suicidal thinking.”

Warning signs of suicidal behavior at workHRD Magazine
September 6, 2022
In this article, Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, a workplace suicide prevention expert, discusses suicide warning signs that may present in the workplace. An uptick in absenteeism and frequent errors may indicate that someone is struggling. “Your brain goes into the darkest downward spiral and it’s very hard to wane your brain off that,” she says. “When called upon to make difficult decisions and solve problems, your brain is distracted.” Other signs include irritation, and a lack of sleep.

This National Suicide Prevention Week, learn the signs someone’s at risk for suicideCNN
September 6, 2022
This article discusses the difficulty in predicting who might attempt suicide. Justin Baker, clinical director of The Suicide and Trauma Reduction Initiative for Veterans at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explains, “You can look back in time, when someone’s made an attempt or has died, and go, ‘Oh, look at all these things that were going on in their life.’ The difficulty is that a lot of people handle or experience those types of stressors as well but never go on to (attempt suicide).” Some risk factors for suicide include: hopelessness, extreme mood swings, obsession with death or lethal means, severe physical illnesses including chronic pain, and exposure to a suicide. Baker says, “You’re not going to cause someone to be suicidal by asking directly about suicide. The worst they’re going to say is ‘no’ and not get offended. If they are, still ask them. I’d rather have someone offended at me than dead.”