Rodney Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - - Rhon­wyn

Chief Coro­ner Deb­o­rah Mar­shall re­vealed fig­ures that show a record num­ber of peo­ple took their own lives in 2016/17 - 606 peo­ple, up from 579 the pre­vi­ous year and 564 the year before that.

This is stark con­tem­pla­tion for all of us.

This month Health Min­is­ter Jonathan Cole­man an­nounced a $100 mil­lion al­lo­ca­tion to fund men­tal health ser­vices, fo­cus­ing on youth sui­cide - New Zealand’s rate of youth sui­cide is high­est in the de­vel­oped world.

I’m glad men­tal health will re­ceive ex­tra fund­ing but for those who have lost loved ones, per­haps it’s too lit­tle, too late.

It is vi­tally im­por­tant, now more than ever, to talk about men­tal health is­sues and re­move the stigma. I was moved by Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Bar­nett open­ing up about the death of his son this week. It’s a tough topic to dis­cuss, but a nec­es­sary one all the same.

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