Suicide numbers rise from previous year, the highest since records began

The number of suicides in New Zealand in the last year has risen to 685 between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, the highest number on record. 

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Suicide numbers in New Zealand are the highest since records began. Source: 1 NEWS

The provisional data released by Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall showed a rise of 17 deaths, up from 668 in the 2017/2018 year. In 2016/2017 the number was 606 and in 2015/2016 the number was at 579.

Judge Marshall said the latest statistics showed a rise in young people dying by suicide. 

Suicides in the 15-19 age group rose from 53 to 73, and the 20-24 age range rose from 76 to 91. 

Māori and Pacific Island suicide numbers increased, with 169 Māori dying by suicide, up from 142.

Source: TVNZ

"I extend my condolences to the families and friends of those who died by suicide in the past year," Judge Marshall said.  

"The reasons people make this decision are numerous and depend on many factors: their early life experiences at home and at school, their employment status, their mental health, their economic and health status, their sense of belonging, their sense of purpose, their worldview and more.

"I'm encouraged by the suicide prevention initiatives taking place, the conversations people are having, and the success stories of individuals who battled with suicidal thoughts but have come through stronger the other side."

(File photo) Source:

Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation Shaun Robinson said the latest statistics are a "horrendous result".

"From a human point of view over 680 deaths is just horrible, I know some of the families affected by those numbers, so I l know the human impact of these numbers," Mr Robinson said.