Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Suicide Trending Down – But Still 2 Youths A Week

Suicide Rate Trending Down – But Still 2 Youths A Week

Gregory Fortuin Founding Chairman of Youth Suicide Awareness Trust

Following my first exposure to the carnage of youth suicide in 1997 and the birth of the Youth Suicide Awareness Trust we knocked on countless doors at Parliament. Two people responded, i.e. Opposition MP Jim Anderton and Minister for Youth Affairs Deborah Morris. Morris oversaw the creation of the Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy but it is Anderton that I wish to salute.

Anderton demonstrated a major commitment firstly as Deputy Prime Minister and now as senior Government Minister and deserves much credit for the welcoming trends. He has often fought a lone battle.

However before we get too congratulatory in discussing suicide numbers, rates and ratios, we need to remember that every single suicide is a personal tragedy. Suicide is our No 1 killer ahead of motor vehicle deaths and 10 times greater than Homicides. It deserves a greater priority around the cabinet table. It does not deserve provisional 2002 statistics in 2005.

The 94 tragedies of young people between the ages of 15 to 24 are still almost 2 young deaths a week and the 68 hospitalisations of kids under 14 is frightening to say the least. The female rate for the ages of 15 to 24 is way above other OECD countries and more than double that of our closest neighbour Australia. Our rate is still alarmingly high and needs a greater sense of urgency.

There are still far too many parents desperately seeking adequate avenues to turn to in their hours of need. We don’t need more brochures but fieldworkers on the ground. Youthline still needs funds to resource a 24hour helpline. Post Suicide support as per the strategy still has a very long way to go.

Given the complexities no one has a monopoly on solutions. There needs to be a far greater support for the role that responsible community organisations can and should play. There is definitely a role for peer support programs – just ask the kids.

And finally, the bureaucrats must see the media not as enemies that need to be regulated but as partners which can assist with awareness and education in the battle to keep our youth alive.

So once again well done to Anderton and his team, but 2 Youths a week clearly says there is still a very long way to go.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Demise Of The Tokyo Olympics

As the Covid vaccines roll out around the world, the Tokyo Olympics are looming as a major test of when (and whether) something akin to global normality can return – to international travel, to global tourism, to professional sport and to mass gatherings of human beings. Currently though, it looks like a forlorn hope that Japan will be able to host the Olympics in late July. Herd immunity on any significant scale seems possible only by December 2021, at the earliest... More>>


New Zealand Government: Cook Islanders To Resume Travel To New Zealand

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such ... More>>


A New Year: No politicians at Rātana in 2021

Annual celebrations at Rātana pā will be different this year, amid a decision to hold an internal hui for church adherents only… More>>


Government: Pre-Departure Testing Extended To All Passengers To New Zealand

To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>


Covid: Border Exception for 1000 International Students

The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began....More>>





InfoPages News Channels