Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Maori suicide

Hot of the press, but with results only up to 2009, headlines tell a somewhat distorted picture ...
'Suicide rates drop, but still more work to be done' sez the NZ Herald.
No mention of Maori - a void in the media I've noted before with unemployment figures. Let's dig into the report and see what we have...

  • There were 83 Māori suicide deaths in 2009, a rate of 13.1 per 100,000 Māori population (this is the lowest Māori rate since 1999);
  • This compares to 10.6 non-Māori deaths per 100,000 in 2009.
  • In the same year there were 28 suicide deaths among our Pacific whanaunga ... 
  • ...and 25 among Asian ethnic groups.

These results differ somewhat from another report (from Chief Coroner, Judge Neil MacLean), albeit provisional ....

Provisional suicide rates by ethnicity per 100,000 population between July 2007 and June 2011 (n=2170)

Here's the comparison in an easy graphic:
Either way, it's bad. One hopes the new funding announced for youth mental health may arrest these terrible stats, although old men are proving sadly susceptible to going sideways of this mortal coil.

Where to get help:
If it's an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111. Or call Youthline 0800 376 633, Lifeline 0800 543 354, Depression Helpline 0800 111 757, What's Up 0800 942 8787 (noon-midnight).
Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand has more information. Visit: www.spinz.org.nz.
The Ministry of Health also offers information atwww.depression.org.nz, and a teen specific website at www.thelowdown.co.nz

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Simon Lambert

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