NZ’s Suicide Deaths are the Highest Since Records Began; and the Closure of Relationships Aotearoa

Suicide rates climb in nz

This is mental health week 2015, and we’re sorry to report that New Zealand’s annual suicide figures are now the highest since records began in 2007

Nationally there were 564 suicides in the year to July 1. This total was 35 more than the previous year and the highest number of deaths since records started in 2007.

Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall said it was disappointing that a drop in the number of suicides observed last year had not continued.

“Over the last eight years I believe we’ve seen a shift in society’s preparedness to have a more open conversation about suicide, but we are not seeing any movement in what is an unfortunate static annual figure.”…source

New Zealand’s suicide figures for this year are the highest since records began in 2007

Nationally there were 564 suicides in the year to July 1. This total was 35 more than the previous year and the highest number of deaths since records started in 2007.

Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall said it was disappointing that a drop in the number of suicides observed last year had not continued.

“Over the last eight years I believe we’ve seen a shift in society’s preparedness to have a more open conversation about suicide, but we are not seeing any movement in what is an unfortunate static annual figure.”…source

The area with the greatest increase is the rural Nelson Marlborough District Health Board region, with 18 suicides according to provisional statistics released by the Chief Coroner yesterday.

The closure of Relationships Aotearoa

Relationships Aotearoa, established in 1949, was already “chronically underfunded” when the Ministry of Social Development withdrew its support earlier this year, causing the counselling service to close its doors to existing and new clients – many of its vulnerable clients said they felt betrayed by the decision.

Relationships Aotearoa was New Zealand’s largest counselling service, with 7000 clients on its books and a staff of almost 200, its services dealt with family violence and counselled those affected by earthquakes in Christchurch. When it was closed 900 clients were referred back to the courts

The government has also cut back ACC payments to families of suicides, restricting them to those arising from mental injury causes by a physical injury or sexual abuse, or from a work-related injury

New Zealand already has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, it is alarming to see the numbers climbing and the support declining. One has to question what role the present government has played in that.

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Farewell from Relationships Aotearoa

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