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There is so much misinformation about suicide - Find out what is true and what is not

People can give subtle verbal and behaviour clues that can alert others to what they are planning. These 'cries for help' tell about the stages of suicide a person may be going through.

There are several reasons why people decide to commit suicide. Read information about the various types - revenge, guilt, romantic, headline, make-believe, escape.

While many people are concerned about high youth suicide rates, suicide occurs in all ages, genders and ethnic groups across the population.

Graphic Evidence of : preferred methods, age-specific rate, ethnic rates of suicide, rates of suicide in OECD countries and others.

Find out which demographic groups are most likely to commit suicide.
An Auckland University 2005 Press Release reveals that mental health problems are caused by social rather than biological factors.

Although, by comparison, New Zealand has one of the world's highest suicide rates, there are very good reasons why it should not be compared to other countries.

Suicide has become politicised and there is disagreement over the "best practice". Government policy-makers are making decisions that exclude certain programmes, yet academics and centres of research are themselves divided over what constitutes "best practice".

Suicide is the greatest single cause of violent death around the globe and almost equalled deaths from homicide and war combined in 2000, according to the World Health Organization.

Humans have a need for the approval and respect of others, a need of appreciation. Without it their self-respect withers.

Very comprehensive information, graphs, NZ related discussion and resources relating to suicide are summarised on the NZHIS website. Some of the topics covered are:
Key points for suicide awareness, statistics, answers frequently asked questions,suicide in relation to age, gender and culture, attempted and completed suicide,regional and international comparisons, why people might attempt suicide, and the list goes on!

The risk of suicide in people with depression is significant.
The lifetime rate of attempted suicide is 30 to 50 percent of people with depression. About 10 to 15 percent actually commit suicide. The risks are highest if the person is over 55, and having an episode of depression. The time of greatest risk may be as the person begins to recover from an episode. It is important that any expressed suicidal thoughts or urges are taken very seriously. Having access to the best possible care can reduce the occurrence of suicide. NZ Mental health website with section about depression.

Suicides claimed 815,000 lives in 2000, of which 250,000 were among men aged between 15 and 44. Suicide rates were a third higher among men than women and twice as high among men over 60.

Never married, divorced or widowed men and women are more at risk of suicide than married people.

Mood disorders, especially major depression, are the main cause of suicide among the elderly.

Family breakdown, a loss of hope and purpose, and a decline in formal religious observance are all key factors in youth suicide rates.

Men are around three times more likely to kill themselves than women. Suicide is commonest amongst men who are separated, widowed or divorced and is more likely if someone is a heavy drinker.

Most children will deny that they are depressed. However, untreated depression may lead to failure to achieve full academic potential, disruption of key relationships within and outside the family, loss of self esteem, and self-harmful behaviours.
Coping tips for parents

Women who are pregnant or who have given birth may experience post natal depression up until their child is two years of age. Their specialised needs can be catered for by Maternal Mental Health.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that cultural and family pressures are a significant factor in suicide among different ethnic groups.

Divorce is linked to suicide, because the trauma makes people feel hopeless. Having a troubled family situation increases risks of youth suicide. When children are involved, divorcing parents can ease the burden.

Tragic and sudden deaths, such as suicide, tend to be more difficult to resolve than if the death was expected or peaceful.The grieving can be complicated by denial, confusion, shame and anger. When children are involved, adults may try to protect them by withholding information. This can lead to children feeling isolated and even blaming themselves for the death, but having no-one they can talk to about it.

There are seven people mentioned in the Bible who committed suicide, or assisted suicide.

Early Christian writers generally regarded suicide is the most fatal of sins because it cannot be repented of. In the fourth century, Augustine of Hippo discussed suicide at length. He found it significant that at no point does the Bible make it lawful to take one’s life. The command "Thou shalt not kill" implies, he argued, that one’s own life as well as the lives of others should be preserved.

Looks at how several of the major non-Christian religions regard suicide.