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

 

Album Review: Donnie Trumpet And The Social Experiments: Surf

Chance the Rapper is one of my favourite rappers of the last couple years. He bought a uniquely fucked up, acid sound with his debut Acid Rap which has demonstrably influenced others including ILoveMakonnen and A$AP Rocky. It’s remarkable that, at such a ... More>>

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news