Suicide toll reaches highest rate since records kept

“It seems to have completely bucked the trend,” says Stephen Bell of youth mental health service Youthline.

Last year’s figures had been the lowest number by two since the annual coronial figures were first produced for the 2007/2008 year.

The figures provided a breakdown of suicides by region and month, with August proving the most deadly month (51 deaths) and Auckland the region with the most deaths (161).

However, anomalies were found such as Christchurch – which has a smaller population than Wellington but had more suicides (49 compared to 40) – and Hastings which had only two less suicides than the bigger Hamilton.

“It’s so hard to hear,” says Bell.

“I always hate the idea of trying to reduce suicide because if you say that, you are accepting there will be suicides. We’ve got to aspire that no one is in the state where they want to kill themselves.”