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RE: Chief Coroner’s Findings on Suicide

RE: Chief Coroner’s Findings on Suicide

Tuesday’s release of the Chief Coroner’s provisional suicide statistics for the 2014/15 year makes for somber reading.

Figures released on Tuesday show that for the year ended 31 March 2015 New Zealand experienced the highest number of suicides since records began.

“Suicide has tragic consequences for communities across New Zealand. The impact of the 564 deaths from suicide confirmed today will be having a devastating toll on the lives of many loved ones, friends, colleagues and communities across the country,” said Ms Denvir, CEO of Lifeline Aotearoa.

Ms Denvir points out that both national and international research shows that for every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year.

“A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population. This means that not only do we need to think about the impact of suicide but we also need to consider the far reaching social, emotional and economic repercussions of attempted suicides,” said Ms Denvir.

Lifeline Aotearoa believes that the community as a whole should take responsibility for the issue. Ms Denvir calls for New Zealanders to be more open about suicide and not to hide it under the carpet or ignore it as a real possibility.

“What these figures highlight is that for many New Zealanders the distress they have experienced became too overwhelming and for any number of reasons they did not ask for help,” says Ms Denvir.

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“If we can take any positive learnings from today’s release it is that suicide is preventable and there are things we can all do to empower ourselves to become as responsive and supportive as possible to family members, friends, colleagues or neighbours who may be in crisis,” said Ms Denvir.

Lifeline Aotearoa is at the front end of suicide in New Zealand. The organisation provides a team of professionals and volunteers available 24-7 to answer calls from people in crisis - many of whom will have considered suicide.

Lifeline Aotearoa run the New Zealand’s only Suicide Crisis Helpline 0508 TAUTOKO which offers support to anyone thinking about suicide or to people affected by the death or injury of someone to suicide.

“Lifeline Aotearoa also delivers a number of evidence based suicide prevention courses. Why we know this training is valuable is that international research clearly shows that people at risk of suicide feel significantly less suicidal and more hopeful about living after coming into contact people trained in suicide prevention,” said Ms Denvir.


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