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WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 2011

World Suicide Prevention Day is held on September 10th each year. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented. Disseminating information, improving education and training, and decreasing stigmatization are important tasks in such an endeavour. The theme in 2011 is "Preventing Suicide in Multicultural Societies".
The themes of the last two years of the World Suicide Prevention Day have focussed on suicide prevention in different cultures across the world. This year's theme aims at raising awareness of the fact that all countries in the world are multicultural. Many countries harbour different minority groups, in the form of various indigenous and/or immigrant groups, refugees and/or asylum seekers. Some countries comprise many different ethnic groups due to artificial borders having been drawn by former colonial powers. This means that in all countries there are a variety of ethnic and religious groups living in the same society.
Multicultural societies require cultural sensitivity in all suicide prevention efforts. However, a common mistake is to treat culture as something objective that explains differences. When we find differences between cultural groups in a society, e.g. suicide rates and risk factors, we tend to explain these in terms of cultural differences. This can, however, conceal the real reasons for differences that may or may not have something to do with culture at all. Examples of other factors that may be important are unemployment, poverty, oppression, marginalisation, stigmatisation, or racism. Moreover, culture is not a static or measurable variable; rather culture describes the dynamics evolving in an interaction between individuals and their surroundings. So, at the same time as we need to be culturally sensitive and aware of potential cultural differences, we must not let "culture" overshadow other important factors that might be at play. Neither must we overlook similarities in our vigilance to find differences.
The WHO estimates that about one million people around the world die by suicide every year. However, many countries still lack reliable suicide statistics, and even countries with reliable statistics may lack knowledge about the magnitude of the problem in (some of) their minority populations. This knowledge might also be challenging to acquire due to stigma having a larger impact in various minority groups compared to the majority. Nevertheless, such information is needed. Some studies have shown that suicide rates among immigrants are more similar to the suicide rates of those in their original country compared to the new country in which they have settled. Other studies, however, show that this varies across country and subgroup. Therefore, we need to be careful about drawing universal conclusions.
Risk factors for suicide vary across cultural groups. Knowledge about common risk factors in a society often stems from research in majority populations. However, in a multicultural context we need to be aware that some risk factors may play different roles in the suicidal process as well as in suicide prevention for some minority groups compared to the majority population. For instance, risk factors for elderly men in the majority population may have little relevance for young immigrant girls. In addition, other factors that might have a different impact on minorities compared to the majority population are attitudes towards suicidal behaviour and suicidal people (e.g. taboo, stigma), religion and spirituality, and family dynamics (gender roles and responsibilities).
Studies have shown that stereotyping might be common in the health and social care system in dealing with minority groups. Therefore, we need to be careful to distinguish between how the rules and traditions of a cultural group define how members of that group may or should behave and how individuals from a cultural group actually do behave. We must not let stereotypes rule what we perceive or do. Some of the previous research reporting average values for immigrant groups or comparing heterogeneous groups of immigrants with the majority population in the country may contribute to such stereotyping in suicide prevention. However, it gives little meaning to compare the relatively homogeneous majority population in a small country such as, for instance, Norway, with Asian immigrants to this country since the latter group can comprise people from a vast number of very different countries, cultures and religions, as Asia stretches out from the Middle East to Siberia. In the health and social care system the individual must not be met as a representative of a cultural group, but be allowed to be themselves with their own beliefs, attitudes, understandings, thoughts, and knowledge.
Gender issues and racism in therapeutic settings are important to be aware of in multicultural societies. Use of interpreters in the health and social care system also requires special attention when a sensitive issue such as suicide is on the agenda. Often, minority populations in a community are small and interpreters are recruited from the same social circle as the client. If suicidality is particularly taboo or stigmatised in the minority group, it may be necessary to check the interpreters' attitudes towards suicidal behaviour and suicidal people because these might affect both what is being said by the client as well as what is translated and how by the interpreter.
National suicide prevention strategies have now been implemented in several countries, but not all of them reflect the fact that the country is comprised of various minority groups. The strategy/program is often aimed at the majority population and a specific cultural perspective or focus is missing. Strategies therefore may need revision with this in mind and countries still not having initiated suicide prevention efforts should integrate a cultural perspective from the start.
Even though suicide is a complex and multifactorial phenomenon with cultural differences, there are still some suicide prevention efforts that might have "universal" effect.
  • Experiences of connectedness are important in the mental health and wellbeing of all people. Thus, communities that are well integrated and cohesive may be suicide preventive.
  • Educating professionals of health and social services as well as communities in general about how to identify people at risk for suicide, encouraging those who need it to seek help, and providing them with needed and adequate help can reduce rates of suicide. These efforts require both cultural sensitivity and cultural competence.
  • Methods of suicide vary across cultural contexts, but restricting access to whatever means are commonly employed has been found to be effective in reducing the number of suicides (e.g. safe storage of firearms, pesticides and medicines; restricting access to bridges and high rise buildings commonly used as jumping sites).
  • Educating the media on how to report on suicide responsibly, and
  • Providing adequate support for people who are bereaved by suicide.
Suicide prevention in multicultural societies needs to be targeted as a multidisciplinary effort. Effective suicide prevention involves a multifaceted and intersectoral approach to address the multiple pathways to suicidal behaviour in a socio-cultural context. People who can contribute to suicide prevention include, for instance, health and social care professionals, researchers, teachers, police, journalists, religious leaders, cultural leaders, politicians and community leaders, volunteers, and relatives and friends affected by suicidal behaviour. People also tend to open up to bartenders, hairdressers, and taxi drivers, among others. In short, suicide prevention is everybody's business, and thus everyone can contribute.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY
WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY, September 10th, is an opportunity for all sectors of the community - the public, charitable organizations, communities, researchers, clinicians, practitioners, politicians and policy makers, volunteers, those bereaved by suicide, other interested groups and individuals - to join with the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the WHO to focus public attention on the unacceptable burden and costs of suicidal behaviours with diverse activities to promote understanding about suicide and highlight effective prevention activities.
Those activities may call attention to the global burden of suicidal behaviour, and discuss local, regional and national strategies for suicide prevention, highlighting cultural initiatives and emphasising how specific prevention initiatives are shaped to address local cultural conditions. Initiatives which actively educate and involve people are likely to be most effective in helping people learn new information about suicide and suicide prevention. Examples of activities which can support World Suicide Prevention Day include:
  • Launching new initiatives, policies and strategies on World Suicide Prevention Day
  • Holding conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures and panels
  • Writing articles for national, regional and community newspapers and magazines
  • Holding press conferences
  • Placing information on your website and using the IASP World Suicide Prevention Day banner, promoting suicide prevention in one's native tongue (www.iasp.info/wspd/2011_wspd_banner.php)
  • Securing interviews and speaking spots on radio and television
  • Organizing memorial services, events, candlelight ceremonies or walks to remember those who have died by suicide
  • Asking national politicians with responsibility for health, public health, mental health or suicide prevention to make relevant announcements, release policies or make supportive statements or press releases on WSPD
  • Holding depression awareness events in public places and offering screening for depression
  • Organizing cultural or spiritual events, fairs or exhibitions
  • Organizing walks to political or public places to highlight suicide prevention
  • Holding book launches, or launches for new booklets, guides or pamphlets
  • Distributing leaflets, posters and other written information
  • Organizing concerts, BBQs, breakfasts, luncheons, contests, fairs in public places
  • Writing editorials for scientific, medical, education, nursing, law and other relevant journals
  • Disseminating research findings
  • Producing press releases for new research papers
  • Holding training courses in suicide and depression awareness
  • Becoming a Facebook Fan of the IASP (www.facebook.com/IASPinfo)
  • Following the IASP on Twitter (www.twitter.com/IASPinfo), tweeting #WSPD or #suicide or #suicideprevention
  • Creating a video about suicide prevention (/www.youtube.com/IASPinfo)
  • Lighting a candle, near a window, at 8 PM in support of: World Suicide Prevention Day, suicide prevention awareness, survivors of suicide and for the memory of loved lost ones.
Light a candle on World Suicide Prevention Day - September 10th - at 8PM
http://www.iasp.info/wspd/index.php

WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 2011

World Suicide Prevention Day is held on September 10th each year. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented. Disseminating information, improving education and training, and decreasing stigmatization are important tasks in such an endeavour. The theme in 2011 is "Preventing Suicide in Multicultural Societies".
The themes of the last two years of the World Suicide Prevention Day have focussed on suicide prevention in different cultures across the world. This year's theme aims at raising awareness of the fact that all countries in the world are multicultural. Many countries harbour different minority groups, in the form of various indigenous and/or immigrant groups, refugees and/or asylum seekers. Some countries comprise many different ethnic groups due to artificial borders having been drawn by former colonial powers. This means that in all countries there are a variety of ethnic and religious groups living in the same society.
Multicultural societies require cultural sensitivity in all suicide prevention efforts. However, a common mistake is to treat culture as something objective that explains differences. When we find differences between cultural groups in a society, e.g. suicide rates and risk factors, we tend to explain these in terms of cultural differences. This can, however, conceal the real reasons for differences that may or may not have something to do with culture at all. Examples of other factors that may be important are unemployment, poverty, oppression, marginalisation, stigmatisation, or racism. Moreover, culture is not a static or measurable variable; rather culture describes the dynamics evolving in an interaction between individuals and their surroundings. So, at the same time as we need to be culturally sensitive and aware of potential cultural differences, we must not let "culture" overshadow other important factors that might be at play. Neither must we overlook similarities in our vigilance to find differences.
The WHO estimates that about one million people around the world die by suicide every year. However, many countries still lack reliable suicide statistics, and even countries with reliable statistics may lack knowledge about the magnitude of the problem in (some of) their minority populations. This knowledge might also be challenging to acquire due to stigma having a larger impact in various minority groups compared to the majority. Nevertheless, such information is needed. Some studies have shown that suicide rates among immigrants are more similar to the suicide rates of those in their original country compared to the new country in which they have settled. Other studies, however, show that this varies across country and subgroup. Therefore, we need to be careful about drawing universal conclusions.
Risk factors for suicide vary across cultural groups. Knowledge about common risk factors in a society often stems from research in majority populations. However, in a multicultural context we need to be aware that some risk factors may play different roles in the suicidal process as well as in suicide prevention for some minority groups compared to the majority population. For instance, risk factors for elderly men in the majority population may have little relevance for young immigrant girls. In addition, other factors that might have a different impact on minorities compared to the majority population are attitudes towards suicidal behaviour and suicidal people (e.g. taboo, stigma), religion and spirituality, and family dynamics (gender roles and responsibilities).
Studies have shown that stereotyping might be common in the health and social care system in dealing with minority groups. Therefore, we need to be careful to distinguish between how the rules and traditions of a cultural group define how members of that group may or should behave and how individuals from a cultural group actually do behave. We must not let stereotypes rule what we perceive or do. Some of the previous research reporting average values for immigrant groups or comparing heterogeneous groups of immigrants with the majority population in the country may contribute to such stereotyping in suicide prevention. However, it gives little meaning to compare the relatively homogeneous majority population in a small country such as, for instance, Norway, with Asian immigrants to this country since the latter group can comprise people from a vast number of very different countries, cultures and religions, as Asia stretches out from the Middle East to Siberia. In the health and social care system the individual must not be met as a representative of a cultural group, but be allowed to be themselves with their own beliefs, attitudes, understandings, thoughts, and knowledge.
Gender issues and racism in therapeutic settings are important to be aware of in multicultural societies. Use of interpreters in the health and social care system also requires special attention when a sensitive issue such as suicide is on the agenda. Often, minority populations in a community are small and interpreters are recruited from the same social circle as the client. If suicidality is particularly taboo or stigmatised in the minority group, it may be necessary to check the interpreters' attitudes towards suicidal behaviour and suicidal people because these might affect both what is being said by the client as well as what is translated and how by the interpreter.
National suicide prevention strategies have now been implemented in several countries, but not all of them reflect the fact that the country is comprised of various minority groups. The strategy/program is often aimed at the majority population and a specific cultural perspective or focus is missing. Strategies therefore may need revision with this in mind and countries still not having initiated suicide prevention efforts should integrate a cultural perspective from the start.
Even though suicide is a complex and multifactorial phenomenon with cultural differences, there are still some suicide prevention efforts that might have "universal" effect.
  • Experiences of connectedness are important in the mental health and wellbeing of all people. Thus, communities that are well integrated and cohesive may be suicide preventive.
  • Educating professionals of health and social services as well as communities in general about how to identify people at risk for suicide, encouraging those who need it to seek help, and providing them with needed and adequate help can reduce rates of suicide. These efforts require both cultural sensitivity and cultural competence.
  • Methods of suicide vary across cultural contexts, but restricting access to whatever means are commonly employed has been found to be effective in reducing the number of suicides (e.g. safe storage of firearms, pesticides and medicines; restricting access to bridges and high rise buildings commonly used as jumping sites).
  • Educating the media on how to report on suicide responsibly, and
  • Providing adequate support for people who are bereaved by suicide.
Suicide prevention in multicultural societies needs to be targeted as a multidisciplinary effort. Effective suicide prevention involves a multifaceted and intersectoral approach to address the multiple pathways to suicidal behaviour in a socio-cultural context. People who can contribute to suicide prevention include, for instance, health and social care professionals, researchers, teachers, police, journalists, religious leaders, cultural leaders, politicians and community leaders, volunteers, and relatives and friends affected by suicidal behaviour. People also tend to open up to bartenders, hairdressers, and taxi drivers, among others. In short, suicide prevention is everybody's business, and thus everyone can contribute.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY
WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY, September 10th, is an opportunity for all sectors of the community - the public, charitable organizations, communities, researchers, clinicians, practitioners, politicians and policy makers, volunteers, those bereaved by suicide, other interested groups and individuals - to join with the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the WHO to focus public attention on the unacceptable burden and costs of suicidal behaviours with diverse activities to promote understanding about suicide and highlight effective prevention activities.
Those activities may call attention to the global burden of suicidal behaviour, and discuss local, regional and national strategies for suicide prevention, highlighting cultural initiatives and emphasising how specific prevention initiatives are shaped to address local cultural conditions. Initiatives which actively educate and involve people are likely to be most effective in helping people learn new information about suicide and suicide prevention. Examples of activities which can support World Suicide Prevention Day include:
  • Launching new initiatives, policies and strategies on World Suicide Prevention Day
  • Holding conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures and panels
  • Writing articles for national, regional and community newspapers and magazines
  • Holding press conferences
  • Placing information on your website and using the IASP World Suicide Prevention Day banner, promoting suicide prevention in one's native tongue (www.iasp.info/wspd/2011_wspd_banner.php)
  • Securing interviews and speaking spots on radio and television
  • Organizing memorial services, events, candlelight ceremonies or walks to remember those who have died by suicide
  • Asking national politicians with responsibility for health, public health, mental health or suicide prevention to make relevant announcements, release policies or make supportive statements or press releases on WSPD
  • Holding depression awareness events in public places and offering screening for depression
  • Organizing cultural or spiritual events, fairs or exhibitions
  • Organizing walks to political or public places to highlight suicide prevention
  • Holding book launches, or launches for new booklets, guides or pamphlets
  • Distributing leaflets, posters and other written information
  • Organizing concerts, BBQs, breakfasts, luncheons, contests, fairs in public places
  • Writing editorials for scientific, medical, education, nursing, law and other relevant journals
  • Disseminating research findings
  • Producing press releases for new research papers
  • Holding training courses in suicide and depression awareness
  • Becoming a Facebook Fan of the IASP (www.facebook.com/IASPinfo)
  • Following the IASP on Twitter (www.twitter.com/IASPinfo), tweeting #WSPD or #suicide or #suicideprevention
  • Creating a video about suicide prevention (/www.youtube.com/IASPinfo)
  • Lighting a candle, near a window, at 8 PM in support of: World Suicide Prevention Day, suicide prevention awareness, survivors of suicide and for the memory of loved lost ones.
Light a candle on World Suicide Prevention Day - September 10th - at 8PM
http://www.iasp.info/wspd/index.php

Obama to send condolences for combat-zone suicides


President Obama, saying men and women in the military who kill themselves in combat zones "didn't die because they were weak," reversed a long-standing policy Wednesday and said he would now send condolence letters to their families.
Obama acted after a yearlong campaign by veterans groups and politicians including Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to recognize the toll that the stress of war takes on those who fight.
In doing so, the president repealed a policy born of religious and societal condemnation against suicide - particularly in the military, where strength is revered and weakness is seen as endangering one's fellow warriors.
"This issue is emotional, painful and complicated, but these Americans served our nation bravely," Obama said in a statement announcing his change. "They didn't die because they were weak. And the fact that they didn't get the help they needed must change."
The number of suicides among people serving in the armed forces has jumped more than 25 percent since 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The military averages one suicide every 36 hours, and last year alone 454 service members killed themselves in combat zones.
The 150,000 soldiers, sailors, Air Force personnel and Marines stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq are particularly vulnerable considering the high rate of redeployments and financial and family troubles associated with long periods spent away from home, counselors say.
Obama's decision "will honor the sacrifice of our nation's servicemen and -women and their families and do a great deal to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health treatment that prevents so many from seeking the care they need," Boxer said.
Kim Ruocco, whose husband hanged himself in California six years ago between deployments with the Marines, praised the move - but said it needs to go further.
"This policy change is very important for families of those who took their lives, because it sends a message that they mattered," said Ruocco, 48. "But we want the president to send letters to everyone who died in service of their country, because there are so many who didn't die in combat zones.
"Condolence letters let the families know that the country respects their sacrifice and sympathizes with their loss," Ruocco said. "That's all we're asking for."
Obama's change does not affect the government's policy of withholding condolence letters in the cases of those who kill themselves or die in accidents away from combat zones, or who die after they leave the service. The veterans department estimates 5,000 veterans annually commit suicide.
The VA in San Francisco has boosted its mental health staff by a third in the past two years as part of an effort to "amp up our suicide prevention efforts," said Judi Cheary, local spokeswoman for the department.
Ruocco's husband, 40-year-old Marine Maj. John Ruocco, was in the Corps for 15 years and had just come back from duty in Iraq when he killed himself in a hotel in Carlsbad (San Diego County). He flew 75 missions in Iraq, piloting AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and earning an Air Medal, but after coming home and getting ready at California's Camp Pendleton to go back, he was stricken with post-traumatic-stress-induced depression.
"We talked a lot about getting help, and the last time we talked he said he would," Ruocco said. "But he thought he was letting everyone down, displaying weakness."
Today, Ruocco lives in Massachusetts and is director of suicide outreach for the national Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors for military families. Her program has 2,000 members, 151 in California.
She gave a presentation on military suicides in San Francisco last year, and since then, "the need has only gotten bigger," she said.
"There is not a single state in the country that doesn't have people affected by suicide in the military," Ruocco said. "The more we talk about it, the more we can prevent it."
E-mail Kevin Fagan at [email protected].
This article appeared on page A - 8 of the San Francisco Chronicle


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/06/MNE01K7B0I.DTL#ixzz1UCrLxyF4

Obama to send condolences for combat-zone suicides


President Obama, saying men and women in the military who kill themselves in combat zones "didn't die because they were weak," reversed a long-standing policy Wednesday and said he would now send condolence letters to their families.
Obama acted after a yearlong campaign by veterans groups and politicians including Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to recognize the toll that the stress of war takes on those who fight.
In doing so, the president repealed a policy born of religious and societal condemnation against suicide - particularly in the military, where strength is revered and weakness is seen as endangering one's fellow warriors.
"This issue is emotional, painful and complicated, but these Americans served our nation bravely," Obama said in a statement announcing his change. "They didn't die because they were weak. And the fact that they didn't get the help they needed must change."
The number of suicides among people serving in the armed forces has jumped more than 25 percent since 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The military averages one suicide every 36 hours, and last year alone 454 service members killed themselves in combat zones.
The 150,000 soldiers, sailors, Air Force personnel and Marines stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq are particularly vulnerable considering the high rate of redeployments and financial and family troubles associated with long periods spent away from home, counselors say.
Obama's decision "will honor the sacrifice of our nation's servicemen and -women and their families and do a great deal to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health treatment that prevents so many from seeking the care they need," Boxer said.
Kim Ruocco, whose husband hanged himself in California six years ago between deployments with the Marines, praised the move - but said it needs to go further.
"This policy change is very important for families of those who took their lives, because it sends a message that they mattered," said Ruocco, 48. "But we want the president to send letters to everyone who died in service of their country, because there are so many who didn't die in combat zones.
"Condolence letters let the families know that the country respects their sacrifice and sympathizes with their loss," Ruocco said. "That's all we're asking for."
Obama's change does not affect the government's policy of withholding condolence letters in the cases of those who kill themselves or die in accidents away from combat zones, or who die after they leave the service. The veterans department estimates 5,000 veterans annually commit suicide.
The VA in San Francisco has boosted its mental health staff by a third in the past two years as part of an effort to "amp up our suicide prevention efforts," said Judi Cheary, local spokeswoman for the department.
Ruocco's husband, 40-year-old Marine Maj. John Ruocco, was in the Corps for 15 years and had just come back from duty in Iraq when he killed himself in a hotel in Carlsbad (San Diego County). He flew 75 missions in Iraq, piloting AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and earning an Air Medal, but after coming home and getting ready at California's Camp Pendleton to go back, he was stricken with post-traumatic-stress-induced depression.
"We talked a lot about getting help, and the last time we talked he said he would," Ruocco said. "But he thought he was letting everyone down, displaying weakness."
Today, Ruocco lives in Massachusetts and is director of suicide outreach for the national Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors for military families. Her program has 2,000 members, 151 in California.
She gave a presentation on military suicides in San Francisco last year, and since then, "the need has only gotten bigger," she said.
"There is not a single state in the country that doesn't have people affected by suicide in the military," Ruocco said. "The more we talk about it, the more we can prevent it."
E-mail Kevin Fagan at [email protected].
This article appeared on page A - 8 of the San Francisco Chronicle


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/06/MNE01K7B0I.DTL#ixzz1UCrLxyF4

Tribal Teens Fight Suicide Through Positive Social Networking

Almost one in four Native American youths has attempted suicide, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A new initiative is in the works to combat those grim statistics through positive social networking.

Brandon Trejo, 17, who lives on a reservation in eastern Washington state, knows a face behind that statistic.

"One of my friends, he tried overdosing on a bunch of pills," Trejo says. "It didn't work. He ended up going to the hospital and getting his stomach pumped."

Trejo was shocked and still doesn't understand his friend's actions.

Oregon tribal member Sarah Hull has felt the same shock, not just once, but multiple times. The 16-year-old goes to a school off the reservation.

"I know from personal experience living in a Native American community and being around people, depression is really common," she says, "because for a lot of people it's hard to find your way to your culture or find your way to a certain passion when you don't who you are and you're confused."

Audio engineer Brad Kaminski records a song by Sarah Hull.
VOA - T. Banse
Audio engineer Brad Kaminski records a song by Sarah Hull.

Hull has found her way to a passion - music. She records in a makeshift recording studio set up at a tribal health workshop.Hull lays awake at night trying to find the right words for a song on the unusual theme of suicide prevention.








Read more: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Tribal-Teens-Fight-Suicide-Through-Positive-Social-Networking--126576073.html

Tribal Teens Fight Suicide Through Positive Social Networking

Almost one in four Native American youths has attempted suicide, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A new initiative is in the works to combat those grim statistics through positive social networking.

Brandon Trejo, 17, who lives on a reservation in eastern Washington state, knows a face behind that statistic.

"One of my friends, he tried overdosing on a bunch of pills," Trejo says. "It didn't work. He ended up going to the hospital and getting his stomach pumped."

Trejo was shocked and still doesn't understand his friend's actions.

Oregon tribal member Sarah Hull has felt the same shock, not just once, but multiple times. The 16-year-old goes to a school off the reservation.

"I know from personal experience living in a Native American community and being around people, depression is really common," she says, "because for a lot of people it's hard to find your way to your culture or find your way to a certain passion when you don't who you are and you're confused."

Audio engineer Brad Kaminski records a song by Sarah Hull.
VOA - T. Banse
Audio engineer Brad Kaminski records a song by Sarah Hull.

Hull has found her way to a passion - music. She records in a makeshift recording studio set up at a tribal health workshop.Hull lays awake at night trying to find the right words for a song on the unusual theme of suicide prevention.








Read more: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Tribal-Teens-Fight-Suicide-Through-Positive-Social-Networking--126576073.html

San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-04 01:03:00

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 2011-08-04 01:03:00

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 2011-08-04 01:02:00


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 2011-08-04 01:02:00

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.