Suicide is a major public health concern.1 The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, globally, over 800,000 people die by suicide each year, representing an annual global age-standardised suicide rate…
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This study is a review of all recorded suicide deaths for Pacific peoples in New Zealand over a 17-year period (1996–2013) and is the first of its kind. This will help in the planning of policies, programmes and services for mental health and suicide prevention and the need to be mindful of the shifting trends over time, in order to adequately and appropriately address the issue of Pacific mental health and suicide.
The aim of this study was to describe trends in suicide mortality for Pacific peoples in New Zealand by reviewing official data over the period 1996–2013.
Death registrations where the underlying causes of death were intentional self-harm was examined and area of interest was identified and presented.
Over a 17-year period (1996–2013), there were 380 total Pacific suicides (4.1%) out of 9,307 suicides nationally for New Zealand’s total population.
Priority areas for effective suicide prevention include: Pacific young males, Pacific ethnic foci, clear ethnic disparities and inequalities for Pacific suicide mortality when compared to New Zealand’s total population; safe, ethical and culturally appropriate messaging around suicide methods; the importance of the role of mental health and addictions in suicide prevention. On average, there are at least 22 Pacific suicides annually in New Zealand. Irrespective of small numbers, further Pacific ethnic breakdown is needed other than Samoan, Cook Islands and Tongan, as this is problematic for suicide prevention efforts for the exclusion of other Pacific groups.