CANTERBURY SUICIDE PROJECT
TEEN SUICIDE and YOUTH SUICIDE
This paper summarises current information about youth suicide in New Zealand.The paper distinguishes between
suicide, provides currentstatistics about youth suicide in New Zealand, information about the risk factorsand causes of youth suicide, and appropriate points of intervention to reduce andprevent suicide.It is important to distinguish between ‘youth suicide’ and ‘teen suicide’.
suicide includes suicides in the age range 15 to 24 years;
suicide is13-19 years. The data which are commonly presented for New Zealand youthsuicide rates are for 15-24 year olds. The risk of suicide increases with increasingage from 13 to 19, then levels off. Suicide rates are higher amongst 20-24 yearolds than 15-19 year olds. The information below applies to
youth suicide, ages 15-24
and includes information about teen suicides (ages 15-18).
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people in New Zealand(after motor vehicle crashes) and accounts for approximately 25% of all deaths of young people aged from 15 to 24 years. Youth suicides (15-24 years) account for20% of allsuicides that occur in New Zealand every year.
Good News about Youth Suicide in New Zealand
In New Zealand male youth suicide rates have recently declined substantially– Rates have reduced by 50% in less than 10 years, from 43.9 per 100,000in 1995 to 21.9 per 100,000 in 2003.
We have increased knowledge about risk factors and causes of youth suicide.
A national youth suicide prevention strategy was developed in 1998 andprovided a framework for youth suicide prevention. This will be replaced on
June 29 2006
National Suicide Prevention Strategy
for people of all ages, including youth.
There has been increased public, political and policy awareness of suicideissues in the last 10-15 years.
Contrary to some media claims, New Zealand does nothave the highestmale youth suicide rate
in the world. (e.g. The suicide rate for young malesin the Russian Federation is 3 times the suicide rate for New Zealand youngmales).
Canterbury Suicide Project