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The Social Graphic of Suicide

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 8:59 am Sat 20th May 2017

I really don’t think people get this, and it pains me to watch the chaos building around both the discussion and the prospective fix, which as I see it, is encouraging the problem, not helping it.

As a young New Zealander as much as I knew about suicide was that they had kamakazi pilots in WW11. By the time I was in my later years of High School I had seen a news article on harakiri, which we tend to pronounce ‘harikari’. This was all very foreign.

Then one day a school friend raised his eyes and said, “it was suicide, he had cancer,” when relating the news of his relative and also of mutual friends, at school. It happened, with an acceptance of these rare incidents.

What happened beyond this is a consequence of a continuing failure to address the causes, and this was first highlighted by the father and son farmer-suicides brought about by the IRD. When they stopped the use of their tactics the suicides stopped.

Then we stopped addressing the consequences and started hiding the causes, like the Family Court, for example, and started a regime of secrecy around the burgeoning statistics. Barriers, while they were a detergent didn’t stop people jumping off the Grafton Bridge, railway lines became more inviting, as did something we called ‘autocide’ the deliberate car accident, which weren’t counted as suicides.

As a resident of Auckland, stumbling into a suicide scene wasn’t uncommon, and I’m sure l’m not the only one to experience this on more than one occasion, so when I say “being heavy involved in the ‘men’s arena'” it was a frequent occurrence, that we dealt with suicidal tendencies. And well enough I would add, that there was one single occasion that we arrived too late. [Refers to SFST]

I would like to think that all those we did support are still alive today. It’s unfortunate that our network of assistance paid a price. We were hounded into obscurity by corrupt judges and lawyers determined to preserve their image. And for all their determined efforts, and as much as they would like, they will never see our names as ticks on their chalk board.

The social graphic I’m talking about today, is perhaps best described by Google and the first result was a caricature of a man, with a gun to one temple and his brains exploding out the other.

This is because we view suicide as an event, not a process or a consequence. That is, and has been for many years, because of the gross negligence of the Coroner’s Office, in a similar manner to that described above, defending their pay packets with political coveniences rather than integrity or professionalism.

We have to our detriment, learned to let this happen, and no amount of tears, regret, or soul searching, will address this failure: we need to adopt a different point of view, a present one, not an historic one, and in a way that helps those affected, not encourages the belief that others may be affected.

It can be done, we did it – we might have come away with first degree burns, but we proved the point.


  1. Please, everybody, read the draft Suicide Prevention Strategy 2017 and make submissions which are open until 12 June. You will likely be appalled at the refusal to treat suicide as a men’s issue to the degree that it is, at the refusal to include any specific male-suitable programs and at the refusal to acknowledge the gender political issues leading men to feel so worthless as to commit suicide at such high levels. More men in NZ commit suicide than the entire male and female road toll and the entire male and female homicide toll together, but you won’t see that reflected in the proposed plan.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 9:43 am

  2. Ive lost three close friends and a next door neighbour to suicide, in each case was a relationship breakup and a rope.
    Perhaps if these men had discovered MGTOW or some means of believing they had some worthyness beyond the servatude of females they might have had the self-esteem to get through and prosper again.

    Comment by Voices back from the bush — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 9:53 am

  3. I think that is why Mike King quit.

    He could see the State handing out the brushes and paint to the grieving and concerned.

    We kept control of what we did, there could have easily been a violent confrontation and a few dead bodies.

    Years later reflecting on the mounting toll of men from suicide, I can’t help but question, whether we made the right call.

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 10:01 am

  4. This is how the government explains away the need to acknowledge males as most at risk.

    The explanation for the higher rate of death by suicide for males may not lie with gender-related
    differences in tendencies to suicidal behaviour but, rather, with gender-related differences in the
    choice of method used, with females more likely to use overdosing and males more likely to use
    firearms, carbon monoxide poisoning and hanging. Furthermore, there is evidence in New Zealand
    that gender differences in suicide rates are reducing. The male to female sex ratio reached a peak in
    1990–1992 (4.2 male deaths for every female death), then decreased to a ratio of 3.2 male deaths
    for every female death in 2001–2003 (Ministry of Health in press). This decline was largely explained
    by an increasing rate of hanging in younger women. These considerations suggest that it would be
    misleading to represent suicide as a ‘gender issue’. Rather, policies need to recognise that suicidal
    behaviour is an important issue for both genders and is expressed in gender-specific ways, with
    women making more suicide attempts and males more often dying by suicide.

    Comment by Voices back from the bush — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 10:33 am

  5. And if you factor in our increasing presence, nationwide, up until 2004, you can understand the reduction in the male to female ratio, that they are glossing over.

    Why in 2017 would someone find it necessary to make that specific reference?

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 10:45 am

  6. A nephew on my ex’s side committed suicide. He was 20’ish. A new father of a baby. All seemed fine I gather. His dad found the lad hanging from the ceiling in the car shed. I don’t know why. Maybe few do. But it effected us all and my girls most deply. As my girls aged we had other events of concern. But I always link suicide with mental health services. Surely with the right help, they might still be with us. This morning on STUFF is an item about how under funded mental health services are. What gets me most about it for me was the stock images used with this ite. I’m sure I’ve seen it hundreds of time with items of supposed family violence, the male was the offender of course. For me linking such female images with these items is a way of subliminally claiming that women are the majority of victims of struggling. It might be that some readers might not even get much pasty the image and draw assumptions from that. Surely some other image would be more appropriate. Suicide effects males most, but it should not be tainted by gender politics – even subliminally.

    Comment by Jerry — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 10:55 am

  7. I dont know, but I will contribute to the draft suicide prevention strategy, & I will leave the page blank when I vote in september.

    Comment by Voices back from the bush — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 11:02 am

  8. Woops! I forgot the link. Sorry!

    Comment by Jerry — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 11:03 am

  9. The last suicide that crossed my path (indirectly) was a new father about to lose his family to separation.

    When it comes to false images, there was nothing more blatant than the website during the Labour Government portraying gay men and women, on their suicide portal.

    It wasn’t ignorance, it was single digit arrogance, from government departments knowing that they had the full support of their Ministers.

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 11:05 am

  10. Voices @4: Yes, for the Ministry of Health it doesn’t matter that the men actually die; women’s failed attempts are treated as more important. Unbelievable institutional misandry.

    This argument, that the gender disparity in suicide doesn’t matter because it’s simply due to men using more lethal methods, was used in the previous Suicide Prevention Plan to justify ignoring male suicide and failing to provide any programs tailored to men. It ignores the issue of why men are so demoralized that they are more determined to actually die, and the fact that many suicide attempts by females are committed by a relatively small number of women with Borderline Personality Disorder who don’t intend to die and ensure they will be rescued. The whole thing is an incredible example of deliberate blindness and callousness towards men’s issues and a determination to see women as the only gender deserving of special sympathy and resources.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 11:35 am

  11. Jerry @6: The focus on ‘mental illness’ and the idea that more ‘mental health’ services will make a big differece to the male suicide epidemic is misguided. Meta analyses of randomized controlled trials have not detected benefit for suicide rates or suicide attempts in studies of antidepressants in mood and other psychiatric disorders. One of the highest risk times for suicide is following discharge from hospital for psychiatric treatment. Another of the highest risk times for suicide is whilst involved in Family Court proceedings.

    Our ‘mental health’ services are heavily dominated by the medical profession and the medical model. This involves diagnosing people as mentally ill and pressuring them to take medication. That’s actually unlikely to help men feel more valued and useful or to feel some reason for staying alive. Sure, there is a place for medication and it sometimes helps avert suicide, but many suicides are committed by men whilst on medication and under ‘mental health’ services. The medications almost all bring dangerous side effects and there is evidence that the use of antipsychotics renders ‘patients’ more vulnerable to future relapses (as well as reducing life span through various harmful side effects).

    Men’s roles as fathers, providers and protectors have been taken over by the state except that men are still enslaved to fund that circus. Men have been displaced from the roles that had provided them with purpose, sense of being appreciated and a legitimate, valued place in society. While western countries were all experiencing higher male suicide rates over recent decades, Latin-American and Muslim countries reported the lowest rates; those countries had not yet stopped honouring and valuing men’s roles. Nowadays in New Zealand and other western countries instead of feeling valued or hearing any gratitude for their sacrifice and contributions to society, men hear only resentment that they might be paid slightly more than women and men are falsely blamed for all evil. Far-fetched feminist ideology has encouraged denigration of men. The term ‘toxic masculinity’ is a hate-speech term that sums up the level of disrespect now shown towards maleness.

    To reduce men’s suicide (and therefore to have the greatest impact on suicide rates overall) we will need to improve the welfare and lives of the male half of our population. We will need to stop closing our ears and eyes to the very real struggle that men are having in modern life. We will need to improve the fairness and standard of justice we show towards men. We will need again to respect masculinity and male attributes, honour men for their amazing contributions, welcome boys into a respected male adulthood, and ensure that a valued social role is available naturally to most men as well as women. Trying to medicate away men’s distress and men’s issues won’t achieve much towards suicide reduction.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 12:30 pm

  12. Am I going insane? I just started reading the draft report – it defines suicide, then suicidal behaviour – which includes “cutters” those young women who cut their arms for attention. It then starts with “what we know about suicidal behaviour” quoting suicide statistics, and continues on with “causes of suicidal behaviour” etc – did we forget, they are taking about something that includes “cutters” – they are blurring the lines like what has happened with domestic violence – I no longer know if they know what they are taking about.

    I applaud Mike King for resigning!

    Comment by martin — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 12:35 pm

  13. 12, Females with borderline personality disorder frequently are the majority of these -cutters.

    They will blame the injury on someone else indirectly or directly.

    False accusations from them represent as much as 40% of family court hearings according to mental health professionals.

    They are extremely dangerous.

    I also think Mike King did the right thing resigning.

    Comment by Voices back from the bush — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 12:47 pm

  14. martin @12. No you’re not insane. The Ministry of Health people are dishonest and gender political. Prioritizing self-harm behaviour in a suicide prevention plan is done to ensure women continue to receive the most attention and resources even regarding a problem that mainly affects men.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Sat 20th May 2017 @ 1:24 pm

  15. There’s an interesting article on Radio NZ about a young man who didn’t commit suicide but inflicted death upon himself.

    This appears to be the derivative of women’s logic, although I’m not sure that his mother would agree.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Sun 21st May 2017 @ 6:48 am

  16. I’m going to make this post simple and to the point.

    To me the main cause that leads up to suicide is abuse of human rights.

    So that leads to the question. Have males suicide victims been more abused that females suicide victims?

    To legally abuse a human enough for them to kill themselves and turn around and call it a mental health issue is pure crap.

    Here is a simple part – To end the high rate of suicides you must end human rights abuses.

    I’ll leave it to this forum to make a list of legal male human rights abuses.

    Comment by Lukenz — Sun 21st May 2017 @ 11:19 am

  17. 16,

    false accusations of domestic violence, is domestic violence.

    Comment by Voices back from the bush — Sun 21st May 2017 @ 11:22 am

  18. MoMA @11

    You are bang on!

    Comment by Buster — Sun 21st May 2017 @ 11:52 am

  19. @Luke 16

    John Kirwan would have more chance of getting a debate on suicide out of a locker room of rugby players than you would on this forum. It’s not a bloke thing to get involved in ‘that sort of discussion’.

    First I think you have to look at the source of the aggravation. Whether it is created by surrounding circumstances, or within the individual’s mind, or whether either situation is inadvertently or deliberately aggravated by the other, or by other people.

    I don’t disagree that a list of human rights abuses would be helpful, but sadly, in the feminist utopia of New Zealand it’s probably not the best way forward to immediately reduce the majority of suicides, which are male/fathers in society, when Feminists would defend that image with the same fervour that the country clings to ‘Clean Green’.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 22nd May 2017 @ 7:18 am

  20. I think the article that Evan @15 is referring to on RNZ was a report on a Coroner’s case: headlined “Hospital had no plan to deal with depressed young man”.

    That could be debated two ways, firstly how constructive the medical intervention was, and secondly the findings and methology of the post-fatal investigation.

    (There is no link to avoid creating any specific association. Any debate should be in another post.)

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 22nd May 2017 @ 7:37 am

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