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Youth suicide study valuable

Youth suicide study valuable

Depression is a leading cause of youth suicide and the Labour Progressive Government will take the research findings of the Christchurch School of Medicine and Otago University released today into account in planning its strategic approach to youth suicide prevention.

Research led by Dr David Fergusson shows that young people suffering from depression are five to ten times more likely to attempt suicide.

“The results of this work will help shape the budget and action programme of this Government to address youth suicide,” said Jim Anderton Associate Minister of Health

“We need to work to address the causes of suicide even though New Zealand has a declining youth suicide rate, with the lowest number of youth suicides since 1986 (at 96) in the year 2000.

“What is alarming, however, is the number of young people suffering from depression as well as the causes of their depression and I will pursue ways of helping identify youth at risk.

“New Zealand has an excellent Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy containing a wide range of initiatives, but there is no cause for complacency or celebration while young people are ending their lives,” said Jim Anderton.

The Strategy, led by the Ministry of Youth Affairs involves a wide range of actions aimed at reducing youth suicide, with a specific focus on addressing suicide among Maori youth.

In the year 2000 the total number of suicides among New Zealanders aged 15-24 years was 96 (18.1 per 100,000 young people), down from 120 in 1999 and 140 in 1998.

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