Teen suicides `a community tragedy’

The Dominion Post 10 Feb 07
people are taking their lives at increasingly earlier ages, statistics just released by the Wellington Coroner’s office show. Inquests heard by Wellington Coroner Garry Evans in December included the apparently self-inflicted deaths of four girls aged between 13 and 15 years and a 16-year-old boy. The two youngest girls were just 13 years old. The deaths feature in statistics released to The Dominion Post this week. Every death that appears to be without known cause, unnatural, due to suicide or violence must be reported to police, who investigate the causes and circumstances and report to the coroner.In 2004, 486 New Zealanders killed themselves. A recently study, Suicide Trends in New Zealand 1983-2003, showed that over the past 20 years at least 350 New Zealanders died from suicide every year, and at least 2000 were admitted to hospital a year for intentional self-harm.