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Suicide serious, Craccum editor should resign

Youth Suicide is a serious issue and should not be treated in any other way by an editor trying to be sensational, said Opposition Youth Affairs Spokesperson Simon Power in response to the article in Auckland Student Newspaper Craccum.

"Despite the editor's intentions in drawing attention to the issue of youth suicide, his methods are crude and reflect a complete lack of understanding of how seriously people view this issue. To sensationalize it the way he has is just not acceptable and he should resign.

"Above all, those in the media have a responsibility to report issues like suicide accurately and sensitively. The Craccum article does neither.

"Too many of our young people are driven to suicide out of sheer desperation and a feeling of nowhere to turn. Awareness of the problem has increased over the years but if we are going to prevent more young New Zealanders taking their lives we must change attitudes.

"Suicide is not a "taboo subject". It is something we should be talking about in our schools and universities. But a "how to guide" does nothing but drive those at risk to even more despair. This article is an inappropriate way to start a debate, it is offensive and makes a mockery of the issue.

"We must educate young people and ensure support services are there if they need them. The last thing I want to see is a young person taking their life because they feel there is nowhere for them to turn to," Mr Power said.

Ends

Inquiries: Simon Power 025 868 366

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