New Zealand suicide statistics increase on last year

Ryan Bridge 26/08/2019

Warning: This article discusses suicide. 

New Zealand's suicide rates increased in the last year. In the year to June 30, 685 people took their own lives - 17 more than the previous year. 

In the year 2017 - 2018, the suicide rate was 13.67 deaths per 100,000 people. That's since increased to 13.93 in 2018 - 2019.

Ryan Bridge is joined by the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, Shaun Robinson to discuss the report.

Shaun tells Ryan that he was horrified to see the statistics saying that "everyone of those numbers is a real person."

Sadly, I wasn't surprised.

Ryan asks if it is possible to improve the statistics at all considering that the messages surrounding suicide prevention have remained consistent and yet the numbers continue to rise.

Shaun disagrees, using the example in England where there is a Minister for suicide prevention and that there is a national plan to address the issue. He says that's what is needed here.

We have not had a plan for the best part of five years.

Shaun describes himself as an optimist and suggests that there are hundreds of people who did not take irreversible decisions and support from the Government will be crucial to prevent more deaths from suicide.

Where to find help and support:

Watch the full interview above.