Declining Suicide Rates, Happy Cats, and More Good News to Start the Day

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At times, the world can be a scary place, but there’s a heck of a lot of good out there too. Here are some news stories to make you smile.

The global suicide rate has decreased.

According to recent figures, suicide rates around the world have decreased by 29 percent since the year 2000. Three demographics have seen a particularly notable decline: young women in China and India, middle-aged men in Russia, and elderly all over the world, which has historically been one of the highest rates. Different reasons for this decrease have been cited, including the general global trend towards better discourse around depression and mental health and the increased social tolerance and support for such issues. Every step towards a more tolerant and supportive world is a good one, in our eyes.

Love saves the day – or at least endangered species.

Hearing that someone lonely has finally found love will likely always put a smile on your face, but when that someone is a tiny frog that’s among the last of its species, it becomes the kind of story that deserves its own animated movie (Disney, Pixar, or DreamWorks – anyone keen?). In 2018, a team of ecologists and conservationists from the Global Wildlife Conservation and the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative sent out a worldwide plea to help save Romeo, a Sehuencas water frog that was feared to be among the last of his species. They even teamed up with in an adorable effort to find his Juliet.

As it turns out, she was found in the very same cloud forest that the aquatic amphibian bachelor had come from years ago and, to top it off, four more frogs of the same species were found during the expedition, which was funded by this adorable campaign. Not only is there now a good chance that this species could be saved from extinction, but after ten years of flying solo (during which time he never gave up hope and continued calling out for a mate), Romeo’s date has come along just in time for an epic Valentine’s Day.

Underprivileged kidney patients across the UAE get free dialysis.

Getting the right healthcare can be the key to recovering from illness, but for those unable to afford the treatments that they need – or, in some cases, any treatment at all – this cost can be a serious added stress to an already taxing situation. That’s exactly where Merrimac Dialysis Centre comes in.

Founded by an anonymous businessman whose father had fallen ill from Chronic Kidney Disease, the Dubai-based center is offering free dialysis to underprivileged patients of any nationality suffering from end-stage kidney disease and who are referred to them through the social workers of Dubai Hospital or the UAE’s various charities. These patients have come to them from all over the UAE, seeking relief from the considerable cost of the dialysis treatments they’d typically have to undergo a few times a week.

People ultimately want to be good, it seems.

Google has given us much to smile about by releasing its most popular searches of the past year. The company’s montage video of 2018’s search-engine trends reveals that a majority of users were looking for good news, how to be a good person, ways to be better and do better, and generally discover and be a part of good things in the world. Even if there’s a chance that this is all some form of escapism in reaction to all the bad out there, it still indicates that we are, indeed, collectively looking to create a better world. If all of these people plan to make good on the positive-leaning intentions behind their searches, then we seem to be in for a pretty good 2019. We know we’re fans of a little bit more Goodness in the world, anyway!

The UAE's cat-saving efforts go international.

While pet abandonment is now officially illegal in the UAE, finding a place for strays can still be tough, which is why kitty-rescue organizations in the country have expanded their range beyond our borders and begun rehoming hundreds of cats overseas on a more regular basis. It’s not an easy feat; on top of the vaccinations and health certificates, the animal also requires a pet passport and travel fees and needs to be paired with a human travel buddy, making the entire process considerably costly and admin-heavy. But if there are more strays than willing homes in the region, and people abroad are still willing to give these pets forever homes despite the extra cost and hassle they will incur, then that’s definitely something worth celebrating.


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