Sth Canty suicide numbers fall

Suicide numbers have dropped to an all-time low since 2007 in South Canterbury.

The coroner dealt with two suicides in the past year. The lowest number of suicides in the region previously was four in 2008/09.

The statistics released this morning by Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean showed South Canterbury is on par with the rest of the country. New Zealand also has had the lowest number of suicides recorded since July 2007.

Between July 2007 and June 2014 South Canterbury has had a total of 56 suicides.

The figures peaked with 17 suicides during the 2011/12 statistical year.

South Canterbury had the equal lowest number of suicide regionally with Tairawhiti.

The Coroner's office was unable to provide a breakdown of ages for the South Canterbury deceased today.

MacLean said nationally youth suicide numbers (those aged under 24 years) are significantly down from last year with 110 suicides compared with 144.

''We've also seen the lowest number of suicides in the 15- to 19-year-old cohort in the last seven years with 46, which is down 17 on last year and 34 the year before.

"The drop in teen suicide is good news. These are the some of the toughest and most tragic cases coroners deal with," Judge MacLean said.

His report also commented:

● The rate of males committing suicide is higher than females 2.5:1, down from the 3:1 ratio.

● The lowest number of suicides was in the 35 to 39-year-old age with 35 suicides.

● About one in every five people who commit suicide is Maori.

SCDHB Mental Health Services provides a 24/7 mental health line. They take general inquiry calls about mental health concerns right through to mental health emergencies. The 24/7 number is 0800 277 997. 

    The Timaru Herald