New Zealand statistics on suicide

Before the end of this year, the Auditor-General will publish a performance audit report on collecting and using information about suicides.

ChartOur audit focuses on the information about suicides at a high level. We looked at information collected, analysed, and reported by the Chief Coroner and other coroners, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, and mortality review committees.

We found that a lot of data on suicide is publicly available. We haven’t been able to find a place where links to all of this public information are hosted, so we thought we could usefully do that here.

In 2011, the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee published a report on youth suicide as part of its Fifth Report to the Minister of Health.

The Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee discusses suicide in differing amounts of detail in its reports. Its sixth report discusses maternal death from suicides from 2006-2010 in more depth – starting on page 86.

A Suicide Mortality Review Committee was established as a trial to consider the benefits that might be gained from a mortality review focused on suicide. The committee has now published a report on its work.

Since the 1990s, the Ministry of Health has commissioned and published research reports on suicide, including a set of five reports on social explanations for suicide in New Zealand. You can find other publications by searching the Ministry of Health’s website using the keyword “suicide”.

Another source of information is Te Pou o Te Whakaaro Nui. You can browse the Resource Centre using the keyword “suicide” to find their reports, such as the summary of results and implications from the suicide prevention research programme, which Te Pou managed for the Ministry of Health between 2008 and 2012.

The Dunedin longitudinal study is another source of research information. You can find its reports by going to the Publications page and searching using the keyword “suicide”. You can also search for “suicide” in publications by the Christchurch Health & Development longitudinal Study.

Be warned, dear reader, that reading through this much information on such a difficult topic is not easy – and that’s something I’ll touch on in my next post.

Update (16 June 2016): You can now read our report Collecting and using information about suicide on our website.

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