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:
Impact of river trek still sinking in - St. Albert Today
August 26, 2021
Lisa Stocking paddle-boarded 650 km down the Athabasca River in just 10 days to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health, fundraising over $10,000 for local charities, including Centre for Suicide Prevention. Stocking says the paddle was difficult, and "It was very parallel to what people struggle with; I couldn't go anywhere, I was, but very slowly and it was very debilitating."
'We need to find solutions to fix this': 2 advocates on why they feel N.L.'s mental health care is broken - CBC
August 29, 2021
Suicide prevention advocates Tanya Joy and Tina Davies are calling for change to Newfoundland and Labrador's mental health care system. Joy lost her brother to suicide in 2019. He sought help at Waterford Hospital in St. John's and was told to go home and see his family doctor. Davies lost her son in 1995 and now runs Richard's Legacy Foundation, an organization that helps people affected by the suicide of a loved one. She also does suicide interventions - she's brought many clients to the Waterford Hospital and has seen many turned away and sent home, "They're released, you know, back on their own with nobody at home after attempting to take their life. Many of them end up taking their lives." Joy says, "We need to find solutions to fix this, because these people that are suffering, they just need to know that one person can help them. They want the help. That's why they go to these places and they're not receiving it."
What No One Tells You About Life After A Suicide Attempt - Scary Mommy
August 28, 2021
**Method warning** This piece is written from the perspective of a person who attempted suicide only three weeks ago and survived. She still struggles with daily life, and depression. However, she says, "I am taking things little by little, day by day. I exercise every morning to get my blood pumping and my heart beating. To remind myself I am still alive. I snuggle with my children constantly, holding their warm, little bodies close. 'This is a gift,' I remember. 'I am thankful for this moment. For today,' I say. I talk to my therapist weekly, and my psychiatrist a couple of times a month, and I push through the pain. I complete those mundane f*cking tasks even when I don’t want to, because I know I need to. Because I know there is healing on the other side. After all, it’s only been three weeks. It’s only been 23 days. And I’ll get there. You can too."
Adolescents living in U.S. but born elsewhere have higher rates of suicide ideation - Washington University in St. Louis
August 27, 2021
A new study has found that young people from the Middle East who are living in the US tend to have lower levels of resilience and a higher likelihood that they may consider suicide compared to young people born in the US. Study author Lindsay Stark said, “Given the collapse in Afghanistan and President Biden’s stated commitments, we need to be prepared to not only welcome refugees, but to understand how to support them. Our findings show that having a strong sense of hope for the future and a sense of school-belonging bolstered resilience and reduced risk of suicide ideation for students coming from the Middle East.”
What 18th-century suicide inquests tell us about growing old in Georgian England - The Conversation UK
August 26, 2021
Ella Sbaraini examined 100 coroner's inquest hearings from 18th century England, where it is estimated that people over 50 accounted for 40% of suicides, though they made up only 20% of the population. The inquests included testimonials from friends, family, and colleagues and many said that the person who died had been experiencing loneliness, memory loss, financial vulnerability, as well as feelings of being a burden to their families and physical illness and pain. Sbaraini concludes, "This reminded me of the poor provision of social care we sometimes see today and the financial stresses of looking after elderly family members. It also, perhaps, holds lessons for how we should treat the elderly in our society."
Learn more about older adults and suicide prevention.
First Nations teens in Manitoba join national biking tour for suicide awareness - Global News
August 25, 2021
Rylee Nepinak is biking from Vancouver to Halifax to raise awareness for Indigenous youth suicide and funds for Tataskweyak Cree Nation, which has experienced a number of suicides recently. Nepinak was greeted by a large group of youth and Elders from Tataskweyak Cree Nation when he arrived in Winnipeg, which is 900 km south of the community. Nepinak says, “This ride is to make them feel important. It’s to show them that you’re 10 hours away, but you’re still a part of our community no matter what. I just want to let those youth that live in that community be a part of something.” Theresa Garson, a Tataskweyak councillor, organized the group that welcomed Nepinak and said, “He’s showing our youth that they can be vigilant. They can lead. I keep reminding them that he’s doing this for you."
'He's gone' — Windsor family mourns son while suicide rates drop amid pandemic - Windsor Star
August 24, 2021
Matthew Janisse, 25, died by suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, Matthew was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder over a single phone call with a psychiatrist and prescribed medication, which mother Nicole Janisse said made him feel worse. She says, “Because of this pandemic, he couldn’t go out to see the psychiatrist, he couldn’t go out to see the doctor." Phil Janisse, Matthew's father, said his son was very generous and gave the best hugs. He also helped care for his younger sister who has special needs. Phil also said of Matthew that "he internalized everything... he wore a big happy face all the time, was the life of the party. But deep down inside he was hurting.” Nicole is encouraging other families to advocate for treatment that is effective for loved ones who are struggling with mental illness.