New Zealand’s Growing Suicide Toll

New Zealand’s Growing Suicide Toll.

Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall released the annual provisional suicide statistics, which show 606 people died by suicide in the 2016/17 year – the third year in a row that the number has increased. This is the highest number of suicide deaths since the provisional statistics were first recorded for the 2007/08 year, and follows last year’s total of 579 (2015/16), and 564 in the year before that (2014/15). However, the suicide rate per 100,000 people for the year, while higher than last year was similar to that in 2010/11. Judge Marshall said New Zealand had much to do to turn around its stubbornly high rate of suicide. “In the last year we’ve seen a lot of discussion about suicide and the incredible emotional toll it takes on those who are left behind. While acknowledging that people are taking their own lives is important, it is only part of the conversation about suicide in the community. What is equally important is our discussion around how we can prevent suicides and how everyone – family, friends and colleagues – is able to recognise someone at risk and ensure they get the professional help they need.” This year’s figures show:

  • The 20-24 year-old age cohort recorded the highest number of suicide deaths (79), followed by 64 each in both the 25-29 and 40-44 year-old cohorts. Last year, the 25-29- year-old age cohort recorded the highest number of suicide deaths (66), followed by the 20-24-year-old cohort (60) and 45-49 age group (57).
  • Maori suicide death numbers are up by one from last year with 130, which was the same as two years earlier. Maoris continue to have the highest suicide rate of all ethnic groups. 
Credit: Office of the Chief Coroner of New Zealand 28 August 2017.

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