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Suicide reporting welcomed

Suicide reporting welcomed

Federated Farmers supports the Law Commissions’ recommendation to allow the media to report a suspected suicide.

“While the media are beginning to report suicides, we believe more needs to be done to lift the lid of silence on suicides. Allowing a suspected suicide to be discussed in the media helps start the discussion of how we can fix the issue, and removes the taboo nature of the topic,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Mental Health Spokesperson.

“By not reporting it we are sweeping the issue under the rug, so to speak, when we need to be aware that it is happening. Federated Farmers has been working really hard to get the rural community talking about mental health and suicide and we’ve seen many farmers starting to come forward.

“Despite this, the media still needs to be sensitive and show restraint when reporting suspected suicides.

“In 2010 rural New Zealanders were 43 percent more likely to commit suicide than urban New Zealanders, and the trend is always leaning heavily on the farming population. This is a big problem and we are working to address this.

“Whilst there is no need to go into details, acknowledging that it is a suicide is an important part of opening up the dialogue so we can no longer pretend it isn’t happening in our backyard,” concluded Mrs Maxwell.


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