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Youth Suicide in New Zealand

Youth suicide became a dirty word on this site when the country’s political element decided to use these tragedies to deflect attention from the 50 or so casualties each month who are mostly adult men. That was following their attempts to belittle male deaths by turning attention to female attempts or threats of suicide or self-harm.

This on-going battle for recognition of male suicide and it’s long history is briefly discussed in a previous post The Suicide Debate when the death of Greg Boyed disturbed the delicate peace of our political and media manipulation.

Like any dishonesty you never know when the light is going to shine in a dark hole and I am sure I’m not the only one who has been asking themselves where does this go from here?

I’m sure every mother has asked the question; Why my son?

There’s a couple of important observations to be made:

First is this. For the older generation, suicide was in our youth, vritually unheard of. Then through our lives as, unbeknownst to many, the surpressed figures rocketed upwards, and discussion on the subject suffered active surpression.

Second is this. In our Feminist society, children, possibly more so now, boys rather than girls, are taking longer to grow up. An age as high as 25 years old has been suggested as the current top end of what should be considered adolescent years.

Then today I see a story on Radio New Zealand by Charlie Dreaver

This is Charlie’s report;

A mother whose son killed himself six years ago says she is still waiting for a coroner’s inquest into his death.

Corinda Taylor founded the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust to help families who had lost a relative to suicide.

She took her son’s case to the Health and Disability Commissioner who found fault with his care but the Southern District Health Board said they had done everything the commissioner asked.

But Ms Taylor disputes this has happened.

Ms Taylor has been told there would be an inquest, but she only received correspondence this month.

“We had a pre-inquest meeting with the corner on the 13th of December last year, this is the first correspondence from the corner and that was dated the 4th of March,” she said.

She said both the pre-inquest meeting and correspondence was hard to interpret.

“We had to have lawyers, otherwise we would have been totally out of our depth.

“That just shows the unfairness on families having to face this in the aftermath, without lawyers you can’t present your case in the best way possible.”

She said with constant delays her family had to pay astronomical legal fees.

There was also a case pending with the Human Rights Review Tribunal, but it had been agreed between parties involved the inquest would go first.

Ms Taylor and her family marked the sixth year anniversary of her son Ross on Friday.

“This legal process is barrier to moving on forward and enjoying life, which we are unable to do at the moment,” she said.

She said the system needed to change to give families more support to prevent this happening.

I’ve made my position clear previously that for too long we’ve seen an abject failure in both the Coroner’s Office and in the process of presenting information to an inquiry, to ever be able to stem the tide of unnecessary death without coming to terms with the causes.

I look at this with particular interest.

First because we see the defences have risen against culpability and negligence.

Second, because I am wondering how many individuals are fighting a similar individual battle, without being able to recognise or even know about the collective issues of many other individuals around the country.

In the second point, which has been observable for many years, it’s undestandly that individual families want to put their grief to rest to carry on with their lives. So, it’s hard to develop an active resistance to this even though we haven’t seen so many deaths since the first and second world wars.

The first point highlights, I think, the where does this go next?

Some mothers are finally getting angry about the loss of their sons.