3News 20 August 2014
New Zealand’s suicide stats are still “stubbornly high” despite being at a seven-year low, the chief coroner says.
Provisional annual suicide figures released this morning show the total deaths for the year ending June 30 was 529 – the lowest number by two since the figures were first produced in 2007.
Youth suicide was down to 110 from 144 last year – 46 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 died, making it the lowest figure for that age group in seven years.
“This year’s numbers have moved in the right direction, but not by much,” says chief coroner Judge Neil MacLean.
“The drop in teen suicide is good news. These are the some of the toughest and most tragic cases coroners deal with.”
Despite a drop in youth suicides, there’s been an increase in deaths of Kiwis over 60 years old. This figure jumped from 75 in 2012/13 to 97 this year.
“The rise in older people taking their own lives is something I highlighted last year, and this trend has continued, particularly for the above 80-year-old age cohort,” says Judge MacLean.