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Archives for August 2011

San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-04 01:00:00

According to the first large nationally representative survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 41% of transgender people in the U.S. have attempted suicide at some time in their lives.  In addition, 25% of the more than 7,000 transgender people in the survey reported using substance abuse to cope with the discrimination their gender-nonconforming status caused.  Transgender people face a very stressful social environment due to stigma, prejudice and discrimination that is “correlated with increased incidence of other mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, and, in extreme cases, suicidal ideations), ” according to Seth Pardo, a doctoral candidate at the Cornell University Department of Human Development.

San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-03 17:03:00

New York : Architects unveil bridge barrier ideas , Ithaca Journal , Mar. 2, 2011
Cornell University and the city of Ithaca are working together to select a design for suicide prevention bridge barriers at seven bridges located on or near the Cornell campus. Following three suicides that took place on the campus in spring 2010, the university consulted with suicide prevention experts, who recommended that Cornell install the barriers. The designs include nets and fences, and are meant to both provide security and maintain “vista, view, transparency, and openness,” according to Cornell architect Gilbert Delgado. At present, temporary black fences are in place at the bridges. Cornell and Ithaca are soliciting comments on the various options from the public.

San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-03 17:03:00

As reported by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center “Weekly Spark,” a new British study involving family physicians and patients with signs of depression affirmed that asking depressed patients whether they are thinking about suicide did not in fact lead to increased feelings that suicide should be an option. “People who were asked about suicidal thoughts at the first medical interview were no more likely to think about this topic during the following week than those who were asked general questions about health and lifestyle,” said lead study author Mike Crawford of Imperial College, London, United Kingdom. As a result, said Crawford, clinicians should feel comfortable asking people who are depressed if they have thought about suicide, “as long as these questions are asked in a sensitive manner.” Commenting on the study, suicide researcher Yeates Conwell said “It is important for family doctors to know that the best evidence, in this case a randomized trial, shows that asking these questions does not cause problems. Rather, doing so brings to light issues for which we have available interventions and helps us reduce suicide-related morbidity and mortality.”

San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-03 17:02:00

A new study from researchers at Idaho State University and the University of Michigan indicates that there is a correlation between sleep problems and suicidal thinking in teens, according to a Reuters story quoted by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Idaho State researcher Maria Wong feels this could help parents and other adults identify suicide risk in young people, stating, “It’s easier for them to answer questions like, ‘Did you sleep well last night?’ and get into why they are not sleeping well and how they are feeling lately.” The researchers found that 60 percent of teens ages 15 to 17 who engaged in suicidal behavior had experienced trouble sleeping at ages 12 to 14. Forty-seven percent of teens who had thought about suicide (but had not harmed themselves) had experienced trouble sleeping at 12 to 14. In comparison, only 26 percent of teens with no suicidal behavior or thoughts had experienced trouble sleeping when they were younger. The study is consistent with earlier research showing a correlation between sleep problems and suicidal thoughts and behavior among adults. It should be noted that the research did not demonstrate that sleep disorders cause suicidality, or that suicidal thoughts or behaviors cause sleep problems.

San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-03 17:02:00

A new report on CNN issued by the Department of Defense documents a “large, widespread, and growing mental health problem among U.S. military members.” The report lists mental health problems as the most frequent cause of hospitalization for men in the U.S. military, and the second most frequent cause for military women (after conditions related to pregnancy). Among the most common mental health issues experienced by military personnel are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol dependence, and substance dependence. According to the report, the increase in reported mental health issues reflects the psychological toll of Mideast wars; increased mental health outreach and screening by the military; and military efforts to reduce stigma about mental health treatment.

San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-03 17:02:00


Annenberg Public Policy Center
Many newspapers continue to perpetuate the myth that suicides increase during the holiday season, according to an analysis by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC). The APPC study found that during last year’s holiday season (2009-2010), nearly half of news articles that made a direct connection between suicide and the holiday season supported the myth. The proportion of articles that reinforce the myth has decreased since the APPC began running its yearly analysis in 2000, but progress has slowed during recent years. “It is unfortunate that the holiday-suicide myth persists in the press,” said APPC researcher Dan Romer. “Aside from misinforming the public, this sort of reporting misses an opportunity to shed light on the more likely causes of suicide.” U.S. government statistics show that the suicide rate is lowest in December, and peaks in spring and fall.

San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-03 17:01:00

Just-released data from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that 20 percent of U.S. adults said they had experienced mental illness in the year preceding the survey. More than eight million people said they had had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, 2.2 million had made a suicide plan, and one million had attempted suicide. Women were more likely than men to report mental illness, and young adults were the most likely of all age groups to say they had experienced mental illness in the past year.http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2010/11/18/mental-illness-hit-1-in-5--us-adults-in-past-year

San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-03 17:00:00

According to the first large nationally representative survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 41% of transgender people in the U.S. have attempted suicide at some time in their lives.  In addition, 25% of the more than 7,000 transgender people in the survey reported using substance abuse to cope with the discrimination their gender-nonconforming status caused.  Transgender people face a very stressful social environment due to stigma, prejudice and discrimination that is “correlated with increased incidence of other mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, and, in extreme cases, suicidal ideations), ” according to Seth Pardo, a doctoral candidate at the Cornell University Department of Human Development.