Teen sui­cide

Kapiti News - - Letters To The Editor -

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


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