Suicide rate hits a 10 year high

The Herald reports the following stats for the 2018/19 year:

  • Suicides up 17 from 668 to 685
  • Suicide rate up from 13.67 to 13.93 per 100,000
  • Maori suicides up from 149 to 162
  • Maori suicide rate up from 25.96 to 28.23
  • Pacific suicides up from 23 to 34
  • European suicides down from 462 to 446
  • European suicide rate down from 13.94 to 13.46
  • 15 – 19 year old suicides up from 53 to 73
  • 15 – 19 year old suicide rate up from 16.88 to 23.14
  • 20 – 24 year old suicides up from 76 to 91
  • 20 – 24 year old suicide rate up from 21.21 to 26.87

That is a huge increase in the youth suicide rate and an 11 year high for the overall suicide rate.

Now I personally don’t think the suicide rate is something you “blame” the Government for. You can blame them for the waiting times for Emergency departments or the level of funding for drugs but the complexity of suicide is something where there is no magic wand you can wave to say this will reduce it.

Of course this didn’t stop Labour from blaming the suicide rate on National before the last election.

And I will make one political point:

She (Ardern) reiterated the Government’s position that there was not enough evidence to support setting a national suicide target.

“A target implies we have a tolerance for suicide, and we do not. The goal is for no one to be lost to suicide.”

That is just puerile crap to be honest.

We have a target to reduce the prison population. That doesn’t mean to say we have a tolerance for people going to prison.

We have a target to reduce workplace fatal accidents. That doesn’t mean we think workplace fatalities are acceptable.

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