These two are from The Press, NZ: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/4015232/Suicides-outnumber-road-deaths
Suicides outnumber road deathsBy REBECCA TODD - The Press. Christchurch, New Zealand. Last updated 05:00 12/08/2010
Related Link: Suicides by method, age, and district See below.
EXCLUSIVE: Suicides should be more widely reported as the number of New Zealanders taking their own lives is 50 per cent higher than the road toll, the Chief Coroner says.
Judge Neil MacLean said New Zealand's suicide rate received little attention in comparison with the road toll, even though significantly more people died.
Media reporting was often seen as a cause of copycat suicides, but responsible reporting could potentially save lives, he said.
Suicide-prevention experts welcomed the call for more reporting on the suicide issue but cautioned against detailing individual cases because of the possibility of copycats.
Statistics released by the Chief Coroner to The Press show the number of deaths ruled as self-inflicted by coroners has stayed at about 540 for each of the past three financial years.
In comparison, the road toll has dropped from 435 in 2004 to 390 last year.
More than 2500 Kiwis are admitted to hospital every year after intentional self-harm.
South Australian coroner Mark Johns said last month that the media should stop worrying about copycat suicides and start reporting the truth about Australia's high rate of death by self-harm.
Suicide should be reported in the same way as the road toll, with tables of how people were taking their own lives, he said.
The Chief Coroner said parts of Australia restricted suicide reporting more stringently than New Zealand did, but he "tended to agree" with Johns.
"My personal view is that there's room for some gentle opening up of things ... but it probably requires legislative change to restore the balance, and that's a matter for a conscience vote in Parliament."
Rules on what coroners could release about suicides were tightened under the Coroners Act 2006, which barred the release of all information except name, age, occupation and finding of self-inflicted death unless releasing other information would "do no harm".
The Chief Coroner said coroners should ask themselves if releasing information could "do good".
When there was a spate of suicides it was easy to say media reports had a negative effect, but it was impossible to quantify how many people might have been saved by reading about it and asking for help, he said.
It was "probably OK" to print statistical information about methods of suicide.
"I'm sympathetic to the view that there's sufficient curiosity of the media on behalf of the public to say: `What's happening in New Zealand; what are our figures and what are the trends?"' he said.
The Press is today printing the detailed coronial statistics on suicide.
[ See below ]
Press editor Andrew Holden said the "imposed silence" on the issue did not appear to be reducing the problem.
"This paper understands the sensitivities around reporting specific cases and the worry that this can trigger copycat suicides," he said.
"But brushing the issue under the carpet clearly is not working either. As a community, we need to accept the scale of the problem and have an open and honest debate about it."
Newspaper Publishers' Association chief executive Tim Pankhurst said a recently released study on media reporting of suicide confirmed that the New Zealand media were generally responsible.
Personal stories were needed to illustrate the issue, he said, and that was where media hit legislative barriers.
"I would like to see quite a lot more media coverage of what leads people to such a desperate act and what intervention there could be to help them," Pankhurst said.
Peter Dunne, Associate Minister of Health responsible for suicide prevention, said he would discuss restrictions on reporting with the Chief Coroner at the next suicide-prevention committee meeting.
Greater awareness of suicide would be positive as suicide was "very hidden".
Suicides by method, age, and districtThe Press. Christchurch, New Zealand. Last updated 05:00 12/08/2010
The following table has been released by the Coroner. It describes the numbers of suicides over the past three years, and shows the methods by which people commit suicide. There is also a breakdown by gender, age, and district.
|Hanging, strangulation and suffocation||286||268||306|
|Poisoning (overdose and others)||72||82||66|
|Poisoning by gases and vapours||83||56||56|
|Firearms and explosives||45||50||50|
|Jumping from a high place||11||17||19|
|Cutting and piercing||10||15||9|
|Intentional car crash||3||5||1|
|Intentionally hit by train||3||5||1|
|Intentionally hit by vehicle||3||2||2|
|Suicides by age and gender|
|Suicides by district|
Source: Chief Coroner’s Office