Facebook probably isn't the first thing that springs to mind when you're drawing up your last will and testament. But maybe it should be.
In the UK, one in 10 people are now including their password and login information in their wills, so loved ones aren't left in the lurch when it comes to what lawyers refer to as "digital inheritances."
Personal details for sites like Facebook and Flickr are essential, so accounts of the deceased are not left open to abuse by spammers and hackers. Photos and other personal data can therefore be retrieved, saved, or otherwise deleted after a user is gone.
More than a quarter of Britons also claim to have substantive funds invested in digital software -- including music and film files -- and wish to have that investment passed on following their death.
Would you consider including digital inheritance instructions in your will?
"I am tired of life really. It's so hard, I'm sorry, I can't take it anymore. I don't want to wait three more years, this hurts too much. How do you even know it will get better?"
These were the last words of Jamie Hubley, the gay 15-year-old son of Ottawa Councillor Allan Hubley who committed suicide on October 14th, 2011.
In light of the bullying epidemic and spate of recent suicides, it's somewhat shocking that Canada -- a country in which at least 10 people die by suicide every day -- doesn't yet have a national suicide prevention strategy.
Europe, the United States, New Zealand, even Sri Lanka all have a prevention plan in place, so why don't we?
The Canadian Medical Association Journal's (CMAJ) recent analysis has found that children and adolescents in the welfare system are particularly at risk of attempted suicide compared with the general population, especially before they enter care.
"Many Canadian physicians, policy-makers and politicians have not been adequately updated by experts in the field that suicide is preventable," claims Dr. Paul Links, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. "As a result, physicians in particular may not be aware of their important role in suicide prevention."
A prevention program would typically include: public education, responsible media reporting, detection and treatment of depression and mental health issues, addressing alcohol and drug abuse, crisis intervention and follow up, training and education of health care professionals, reduced access to methods of suicide and more.
"Given the number of Canadians who die by suicide each year, the burden in terms of the suffering and pain of those left to cope with the loss of a loved one and the growing evidence of effective strategies for prevention, physicians have a responsibility to encourage governments to move toward policies and programs that will prevent suicides," says Dr. Links.
"In Canada, this includes encouraging the federal government to form a national strategy for suicide prevention similar to those in place in so many other developed nations."
We can no longer bury our heads in the sand. Doctors may be on the front lines when it comes to treatment, but it's up to us, as mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters to open our eyes and look for warning signs before it's too late.
Without intervention, as was sadly the case for Hubley, it doesn't always get better.
A barbaric practice is coming to an end in the Senegal. An estimated 92 million African girls and women have had their clitoris sliced off with nothing to dull the pain.
Despite millions of dollars poured into the campaign by the United Nations, change is now happening quickly and sweeping across the country, village by village, largely thanks to an informal coalition made up of Molly Melching, an Illinois educator, Senegalese imam, Demba Diawara, and California professor Gerry Mackie.
Careful not to label the ritual barbaric, Melching and Co. has spent years educating villagers of the dangers of the practice of genital cutting. They described daughters and sisters who had hemorrhaged and sometimes died from botched circumcisions.
The village of Malicounda Bambara vowed to end the custom in 1997, and other villages have been slowly following suit. African parents actually claimed to have followed the convention "out of love for their daughters."
Surprisingly, it is not the men, the elders, who are responsible for perpetuating female circumcision, but women.
The elderly woman, Bassi Boiro, Sare Harouna’s 'cutter,' would perform the ritual away from the settlement so "men couldn’t hear the girl’s screams.”
Typically, four women held down the arms and legs of a girl between the age 5 and 7, while Boiro cut off the girl's clitoris with a knife handed down through generations until it became “too dull to even cut okra.”
She then switched to razor blades. Boiro apparently claimed she didn't realize the harm she was causing.