News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Suicide rate link to culture, society and economy

Suicide rate link to culture, society and economy

Author John Weaver wants to see a wider and more long-term view of suicide prevention, urging people to look beyond depression as the main cause of suicide – and to begin addressing some of the wider impacts of society.

John Weaver has carried out one of the most comprehensive reviews of suicides in New Zealand after examining over 12,000 coroners’ reports from throughout the last century – 1900 to 2000.

His in-depth research about what is behind New Zealand’s suicide statistics are detailed in his new bookSorrows of a Century, published by Bridget Williams Books.

Weaver writes that in many cases those who committed suicide had experienced stresses beyond their control – economic depressions, wars, accidents and illness.

“A lot of suicides were indictments of culture, society and the economy. They evolve and spin off new variations on timeless sources of unhappiness and trauma, sorrow and rage.”

He says by looking across the past century, rather than looking at individual cases in isolation, it is clear that governments can have a key role in addressing suicide.

History shows that tackling societal issues rather than taking up short-term, low-cost solutions can have a big impact on suicide rates. As an example, “first, New Zealand social security and labour legislation addressed particular forms of troubles and the suicide rates of older men fell. Second, the treatment of the elderly improved, including palliative care.”

Weaver writes that deep prevention of suicide should address health from the cradle to the grave, and ensure meaningful work – the latter is particularly effective for giving young people a sense of purpose. Effective education on warning signs within schools and in the media could also help.

“Awareness can be advanced by media reporting of well-considered facts. Coroners’ findings should be immediately available to the media and researchers; access can contribute to public awareness and education.”

Weaver writes: “A grieving father expressed matters: ‘all a parent can do is provide support and a loving stable environment. What society must do is provide hope, employment opportunities and a sense of balance.’”

Other key points from the book:
• Looking across the past century, swings in the most vulnerable age groups and shifts in the reasons for suicide are evident.
• Alcoholism was an astonishingly common cause in the early twentieth century.
• Youth unemployment at century’s end contributed to a distinct social problem.
• There was a lingering impact of war on suicides among returned soldiers over the following years.
• Suicide methods changed as the country became more urban, car oriented, and headed on a pharmacological path.
• The book has already attracted interest from senior legal, medical and historical experts working in New Zealand.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Scoop Review Of Books: The Stolen Island: Searching for ‘Ata by Scott Hamilton

    Reviewed by Michael Horowitz
    Located even further south than temperate Noumea, Tonga’s tiny island of ‘Ata might have become the jewel of the kingdom’s burgeoning tourist industry. Imagine a Tongan resort that would not only be mild in winter, but pleasant in summer. More>>

    Scoop Review of Books: Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays On Place From Aotearoa NZ

    The New Zealand landscape undoubtedly is very beautiful, but so is the British one, and my attachment to this country is much more about some particular places, and the memories and emotions that in them combine, than it is about the landscape as a whole. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news