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Suicide and young people

Suicide More Likely to Kill Young People than Cancer And Car Crashes Combined

11 APRIL 2017

More young people die each year of suicide than cancer and car crashes combined, according to research uncovered by the Aotearoa Students’ Alliance.

The most recent data published by the NZ Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee show that 587 young people aged between 15 and 24 died of suicide between 2010 and 2014, compared with 145 of cancer, and 416 of transport accidents.

“These data show two things: firstly, that suicide is the most common cause of death for young people; and secondly, that the Government is explicit in its disregard for the mental health of New Zealand’s young”, says Jack Close, spokesperson for the Aotearoa Students’ Alliance.

“Meanwhile, according to the OECD, New Zealand has the highest rate of teen suicide in the developed world. The Government is not only failing its own young people, but it is also an embarrassment to New Zealand on the international stage. If suicide were a disease, this catastrophic government failure would be prioritised without a moment’s notice.”

“This issue has a significant impact on students, who face ever-increasing costs of living in the wake of the Government’s own regulatory and economic mismanagement. As a result, New Zealand’s eight universities have seen asharp increase in demand for counselling sessions resulting from financial hardship and poor living conditions.

“While costs of living continue to rise, a mental health crisis is baring its teeth. The majority of New Zealand's students fall into the 15 to 24 age bracket, making them most at risk of suicide. The Government must act now to ensure the welfare of students.”

The Aotearoa Students’ Alliance calls on Minister of Health Hon. Jonathan Coleman to initiate a royal commission into the state of mental health in New Zealand. “It is his responsibility to solve this crisis”.


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