Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Surge in youth suicides
BRENDAN MANNING | Tuesday, September 4, 2012 14:46

Thirty-five people took their own lives in the Hastings coronial region in the last year, new suicide stats reveal.

The figures were released by Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean yesterday as part of the nation's provisional annual suicide statistics.

"I continue to believe we need to gently bring the issue of suicide from out of the shadows," he said.

The Hastings figures are down two on last year's tally.

Nationally, 547 people took their own lives in the 12 months to June 30 - down 11 on the previous year. Youth suicide has surged and Maori are over-represented in the grim statistics.

Males make up 74 per cent of all self-inflicted deaths.

Judge MacLean has called for a national discussion on how to curb the toll.

"The annual number of suicides has remained relatively constant, but our latest figures show some concerning trends," Judge MacLean said. "Significant is the jump in teenage suicide numbers, and the continued rise of Maori suicides, in particular young Maori."

This is the third year Judge MacLean has publicly released the annual suicide figures. More people take their own lives each year than die on the nation's roads.

"Coroners have a responsibility to encourage the informed public discussion about how best to reduce the rate of suicide," Judge MacLean said. "To have that discussion we need up-to-date and complete information."

The Government is working on a four-year suicide prevention action plan due to be released early next year.

A Ministry of Health report released last month, Suicide Facts, found rural communities were at higher risk of suicide than people in urban areas.

The highest rates of rural suicide are seen in adults aged 25 to 44 years. APNZ
Hanging, strangulation and suffocation are the most common methods of suicide.

The youngest suicide since coronial service records began in 2007 occurred last year - a boy aged between 5 and 9.

During the past year, the number of Maori suicides has increased for most age groups, in particular the 15 to 19-year-old group.

Suicides in the Christchurch region rose by 14 to 81 in the past year. The previous year's lower figure reflected the phenomenon of a drop in suicide rates after large scale crisis events and natural disasters.

The rate of suicides in the 50 to 74-year-old group has dropped.

Suicide rates for unemployed people remain high compared to employed people.

Students and retired people continue to have high suicide rates.
More in Hawkes Bay Today:  http://www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz/
Peter’s Comment

With so much doom and gloom being put about by negative pessimists it is little wonder that the suicide rate has increased. However, the number of elderly taking their own lives may be reflecting in an increased acceptance of euthanasia for those with serious or terminal illnesses.

Most of the predictions of the pessimists are wrong and these people are doing a grave disservice to society; the world is running out of oil, the world is running out of food, sea levels are rising, storms caused by global warming are getting more severe and more frequent, the gap between rich and poor is getting wider . . . . 

The pessimists go on and on.

It’s no wonder young impressionable people are taking their own lives to escape the misery, or to save the planet. But the truth is that, even allowing for cyclical recessions, poverty, famine and disease, the world and its people are in better shape now than at any time in history and it will continue to get even better.