Te Haumanutanga Tapui
MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE IN AOTEAROA
He Ara Oranga - Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction 2018, has highlighted, amongst many things, the increasing mental distress in Aotearoa, our children are experiencing increasing levels of distress, as are our teens and adults, and equally, a decreasing capability to cope with these stressors.
Since 2007, our suicide statistics are increasing.
2017/18 annual provisional suicide statistics:
- Female suicides have increased by 44 compared to last year, while male suicides increased by 18. The ratio of female to male suicides is 1:2.46
- The age cohort with the highest number of suicides was the 20-24 year old group, with 76 deaths, followed by the 45-49 year old group with 67 deaths
- The Maori suicide total, 142 deaths, and rate 23.72/100,000, are the highest since the provisional statistics were first recorded for the 2007/08 year. Male Maori continue to be disproportionately represented in the provisional suicide statistics with 97 deaths last year.
- Information courtesy of the Office of the Chief Coroner (2018)
The report, has suggested a target of reducing Suicide by 20% by 2030, 668 people took their own lives in 2017/2018, this number has increased since the statistics were first recorded in 2007/08, with an upward trend. If we look at 668 suicides in 2017/18, a 20% reduction is 133.60, which equates to an 'acceptable' number of 534.4 suicides/year, at this current rate, not taking intoconsideration the upward trend. This is in fact, completely UNACCEPTABLE, and intolerable!
Every year, an estimated 150,000 people think about taking their own lives, 50,000 make a suicide plan, and 20,000 attempt to take their own life.
Suicide prevention, needs to be just that, PREVENTION, not acceptance to a certain smaller number, if we are prepared to push for a Smoke Free Aotearoa, we should be pushing as hard for a Suicide Free Aotearoa!!!
Suicide is complex, multifactorial, it is challenging to address, and for many, it is too big to addres, but we believe that we must make a start, with increasing statistics being a very good reason, suicide isn't going away, it is getting worse. Every suicide has far reaching impacts, there is a ripple effect that increases exponentially, or what we in our whanau have termed, 'the collateral damage', which starts with finding out someone we love has taken their own life.
OUR JOURNEY WITH SUICIDE
November 2nd 2018, is a date that our whanau will never forget, our brother, 37 years old, took his own life in a train station in Australia. He has previously attempted to take his own life in the same location, he had been found and resuscitated. His final attempt, he made sure no one would find him, and he was 'successful', if you can call it that...
He leaves behind children, siblings, parents, who are all trying to understand why? We are confronted with the questions: 'What could we have done to prevent it?', 'What did we do to cause it?', 'How do we protect his children, and our whanau, from following the same path?', the questions are endless, and we dont have any answers.
We were equally confronted with what it takes to have a loved one repatriated back home for his tangi, a cost we had never ever considered before, and as with many, our brother had not through of such things before he died, part of the 'collateral damage', for us as a whanau, was trying to cover a tangi and repatriation of our brother back into the care of our Kaitiaki and Tupuna, at our Urupa.
Our photo for Te Haumanutanga Tapui, is our Maunga Taranaki, taken from our Marae, this is in rememberance of our brother, and it is under which, our brother now rests.