We have to break the silence on suicides

LETTER

I welcome the recent discussion on suicides and in particular teen and youth suicides.

All sudden deaths are traumatic, and suicides particularly. We often forget, or do not know, that there are more suicides annually in New Zealand than deaths in motor vehicle crashes. Yet there is much publicity about prevention of these crashes — and rightly so.

As a country we should have more discussion on the causes of suicides — depression, illness, worry, bullying (especially for youth), relationship breakdown — and many more.

Silence is not helping, and our silence may be making the problem worse.

So we should address causes of suicides in both young and older people.

When there is a suicide, young people will know through, say, social media. So young people and others need to be helped through that trauma at that time.

True, a coroner will need to decide whether a suspected suicide is a suicide or not. But until then the term suspected suicide can be used.

Help is or should be at hand when anyone is depressed, worried, or when a relationship breaks down.

But those affected need to seek help, and those close to them may need to encourage them to seek help.

So break the silence, I say.

In my 20 years as coroner I dealt with many suicides. All were traumatic for family and those close.

New Zealand and this region have far too many suicides.

Silence is not working. Change is required.

Allan Hall

I welcome the recent discussion on suicides and in particular teen and youth suicides.

All sudden deaths are traumatic, and suicides particularly. We often forget, or do not know, that there are more suicides annually in New Zealand than deaths in motor vehicle crashes. Yet there is much publicity about prevention of these crashes — and rightly so.

As a country we should have more discussion on the causes of suicides — depression, illness, worry, bullying (especially for youth), relationship breakdown — and many more.

Silence is not helping, and our silence may be making the problem worse.

So we should address causes of suicides in both young and older people.

When there is a suicide, young people will know through, say, social media. So young people and others need to be helped through that trauma at that time.

True, a coroner will need to decide whether a suspected suicide is a suicide or not. But until then the term suspected suicide can be used.

Help is or should be at hand when anyone is depressed, worried, or when a relationship breaks down.

But those affected need to seek help, and those close to them may need to encourage them to seek help.

So break the silence, I say.

In my 20 years as coroner I dealt with many suicides. All were traumatic for family and those close.

New Zealand and this region have far too many suicides.

Silence is not working. Change is required.

Allan Hall

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