It is mind boggling that we read that New Zealand still has the highest teen suicide rate in the developed world . . . the word “developed” resonates in that we are supposed to be developed in social areas of concern as well as politico/economic but clearly we have a way to go.
I don’t know whether “confidential” surveys have actually been carried out with the gender and age groups most affected, male (Ma¯ ori), 15-19 years. Most will be at college and to a certain extent able to be targeted for a confidential survey as to the “real” causes of their depression and harmful actions.
Bullying, family violence and poverty are apparently the key causes but I believe that the young persons’ view of the world they live in and how they are coping is what an astute counsellor would need to know before advocating, maybe “education” classes for parents, guardians, teachers and others with direct connections to youngsters, before the authorities can take positive action.
I can only commend the many volunteer organisations and individuals who already go beyond the call to counsel youngsters. However we still need to nip causes in the bud much earlier. STEVE ANDERTON