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Written by Karey Meisner

The Coroner's Office of New Zealand has just released the suicide statistics for the year 2015-16. The news is not good; the suicide rate - particularly for young men - remains high. In Canterbury, the number of men who commited suicide (78) in the past year was the highest in the country and the highest the region has ever seen. In his report...

 

Judge Marshall said "there needed to be more discussion about suicide prevention and how family, friends and colleagues can identify someone at risk and help them get professional support".

I would add to this; there needs to be a discussion about the efforts to promote men's help-seeking as it does not seem to be working. In other words, despite the best efforts of the Ministry of Health - and projects such as the National Depression Intiative commencing in 2006 - not much has changed. The Kirwan campaign, as it has been referred to, has been immensley popular but has not significantly improved men's help-seeking from GPs, the gateway to mental health services. Men may be talking more about mental health more, just not their own. Health professionals may be talking about men's depression and suicide more, just not in the right way. Its time to rethink!

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